Sunday, January 1, 2017

Why do you go to Times Square on New Year's Eve?

David Freiman -  lives in New York City

It is terrible. Only tourists do this. And young New Yorkers may try this once if they don’t listen to reason by their friends.
People start arriving around 5 pm for a midnight ball drop. I’m not sure what time the live entertainment starts.
You are herded into pens by the NYPD. You have to stay where they put you for the entire time. If you leave the pen, you will not be permitted to return. You will be herded into a new pen if you plan to stay and will be separated from your friends.
You can not block the sidewalks.

Loyal dog protects injured friend from passing train

A remarkable video of a dog protecting his injured companion stuck on a railway track as a train barrels overtop of them has gained global attention since it was posted online over the holidays.
The dogs were spotted huddled on the train tracks on Christmas Day in the Ukrainian community of Uzhhorod by Denis Malafeev, who posted the footage to Facebook.
One of the canines in the video appears to be injured and unable to stand, and the other dog stands guard beside her. When a train rushes toward the dogs, the male dog flattens down beside his friend and pushes her head down to shield her from the locomotive overhead.
When the train finally passes, the dogs appear to be uninjured.
The astounding footage has since been viewed more than one million times and has been picked up by media outlets across the globe.
It was challenging to help the injured dog because its companion attempted to defend her from anyone getting too close, Malafeev wrote in the Facebook post.
The dogs were eventually taken to safety and reportedly adopted to a new family, which has named them Panda and Lucy.

Hollywood sign vandalized to read 'Hollyweed'

Christopher Weber, The Associated Press                                     

LOS ANGELES -- No, Los Angeles residents, it wasn't your hangovers playing tricks on you. The Hollywood sign really did read "HOLLYWeeD" for a few hours on New Year's Day.
Police were investigating Sunday after a prankster used giant tarps to turn the iconic sign's two white Os into Es sometime overnight.
The vandal, dressed in all black, was recorded by security cameras and could face a misdemeanour trespassing charge, said Sgt. Robert Payan.
The person scaled a protective fence surrounding the sign above Griffith Park and then clambered up each giant letter to drape the coverings, Payan said.
The prank may be a nod to California voters' approval in November of Proposition 64, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana, beginning in 2018.
Hikers and tourists in the hills spent the morning snapping photos of themselves in front of the altered sign before park rangers began removing the tarps.
"It's kind of cool being here at the moment," Bruce Quinn told KABC-TV. "I thought we came to see the Hollywood sign, not the' Hollyweed' sign. But hey it's OK with me!"
While attention-grabbing, the prank was not exactly original. Forty-one years ago to the day -- Jan. 1, 1976 -- a college student similarly altered the sign, using curtains to make it read "HOLLYWEED."

Were medieval battles as brutal as in the movies?

Morgan Jones,  studied Medieval Warfare at University of Oregon

No they were not.
Soldiers fought in formation (instead of breaking off into a bunch of mindless solo melees where they were surrounded by enemies on all sides). They wore armor (which is much more protective than shown in the movies) and often had shields. The result basically meant it was much harder to kill people, if you got injured you could usually back out of the fight and let the men behind and to the side of you continue on in your stead, meaning that being on the front line wasn’t a death sentence. Battles were usually much longer more drawn out affairs, but eventually a line would cave in or moral would break and an army would flee. Almost all of the killing would actually happen after the battle was finished and the enemy army was on the run (no longer fighting back). It was rarely important to exterminate the enemy army - just defeat it, and after the initial route, any remaining enemy soldiers - particularly the nobility - would often be spared (though not always).
Soldiers were humans, and humans don’t like to die. Armed men would try everything they could to avoid fighting other armed men. There are many reports of soldiers refusing to fight each other, just standing at a safe distance trying to keep the other army at bay. Very rarely would soldiers actually meet each other in pitched battle. Most wars were fought by opposing forces who avoided each other at all costs, and pillaged the peasant population of either side instead. You could get a lot more resources by pillaging the working class, damage the economy of the country much more, and at significantly lower risk of your own life in the process. Field battles were extremely rare, and they are all so idolized in history because of how few there actually were. In order for 2 armies to meet in pitched battle, they would both have had to have seen each other and both decided that they had good odds of winning the fight. If one army had less men they would simply run away, only under specific circumstances (such as holding a chokepoint) would an army fight a seemingly losing battle. Siege battles were also very uncommon, usually the invading army would simply camp outside the fortress and raid the countryside for supplies while the resident force slowly starved. Eventually one side would out-resource the other and the losing side would give up.
That all said, when shit hit the fan and your life was on the line, you fought like hell and payed a bloody price, but as a whole hollywood vastly over-dramatizes and misrepresents the brutality of medieval warfare.
I would definitely recommend checking out Scholagladiatoria and Lindybeige, both excellent YouTube channels from creators who have a vast amount of knowledge on these subjects.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Our Power is Patience

Our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anybody can do it. All it takes is time.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

What did the German soldiers of WWII think of British, US, Canadian, and Soviet soldiers? James Hinton

James Hinton, U.S. Army 1998-2007, E-6, SFOR 12, OEF IV, OEF VII.
James is a Most Viewed Writer in World Wars.

I read the autobiography of Otto Carius, Tigers in the Mud. He was a tank ace (150+ kills) who served on both the East and West fronts, ending the war as a company commander.

He viewed the Soviets as extremely dangerous opponents. According to him they were equal parts competent, hard working, and brutal.

He really didn't have much to say about the Brits, as he wound up facing mostly Americans on the Western Front.

His perspective of Americans was that they were extremely sloppy, incompetent, and cocky. He had no respect for them as soldiers. He was extremely angry at Western Front German troops for being afraid of the Americans, as they utterly failed to compare to the Russians in any way.

Overall, he was incredulous about the Western allies. As far as he was concerned the British, French, and American armies needed to accept German terms as quickly as possible and then join the Germans in fighting the U.S.S.R. He viewed Russia as a singularly dangerous and unstable entity, and could not understand why the Western nations would continue to aid them when it was clear that Germany was being over-run by Ivan.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

How were German tanks different from U.S. tanks during WWII?

US tanks were considerably cheaper compared to German tanks!! To understand this, we would need to understand the manufacturing process.
The US entered World War II as an industrial giant with many developed automotive factories and skillful workers. The US also had the most money and resources, that's why it could mass-produced huge number of tanks using fully established assembly lines - the same way they had been producing cars for years.
Let's take a look at some US tank factories:
Massive assembly lines, huge cranes overhead to move tanks along ....
... this room is simply huge, tanks lining up as far back as the eyes can see.
Isn't this how everybody produced tanks? Err ... No. The Germans didn't produce tank this way. Let's look at a German tank factory:
No great assembly line. And notice the ladder on the side of the Tiger tank? The ladder's there because the tank would stay in the exact same spot for a really long time, workers would have to climb up and down the tank again and again ...
See those the little white numbers? German workers had to scribble all over the tank to remind themselves of the manufacturing process: what had been done already, what still needed to be done, how big this hole was, what the distance between the holes ....  You would never see things like theses in a automotive style mass-manufacturing factory.
Again, much work had to be done by hand:
While the Shermans were being mass-produced using automotive assembly lines, the Tiger tanks were *literally* hand-made. No wonder they were so darn expensive and there were so few of them!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The House Next Door (on the other side.)

The other day I wrote about the house next door. Today I will mention about the house next door, on the other side.
Last Sat. night - Sun. morning, we had a snow storm, high winds etc. About 3 a.m. my wife heard a loud boom. I told her it was probably thunder. It snowed most of the morning, wet snow, and we got about 6 inches. It was supposed to get warmer, so I didn't bother shoveling the driveway. Figured it would be all disappear, which it did.
About 3 in the afternoon we went out to settle the garbage around. My wife went around the corner, let out a "Oh My God" and called me.
The house on this side is a duplex, rented out. It has four large columns in front. On the ground was one of the columns. . It had fallen off and lay about a foot away from my neighbors SUV. I went to talk to my neighbor about it and he didn't even know. He was glad it didn't fall on the SUV. The first thing he did was call the landlord. No problem. Someone would be there the next morning. Then he went out and moved the column. Said it was quite heavy. I would have left it there for the landlord to see. He does have three more columns.
Next morning, at 8 a.m. two trucks showed up to do repairs - at least that was what I thought. They worked all day and built a new step on the front of the house. Huh! What!
This is three days later and the column still lays on the ground. Went to the neighbor. Told me he asked for a column and got a mini patio. He also mentioned that the column was held at the top by six 3 inch nails. Maybe the landlord should also be looking at the other columns.

Monday, April 11, 2016

U.S. Flag on the Moon

Tony Reichhardt in 2008 Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine wrote: The flag is probably gone. Buzz Aldrin saw it knocked over by the rocket blast as he and Neil Armstrong left the moon 39 summers ago. Lying there in the lunar dust, unprotected from the sun’s harsh ultraviolet rays, the flag’s red and blue would have bleached white in no time. Over the years, the nylon would have turned brittle and disintegrated. (see Finding Apollo).   He also wrote:  Dennis Lacarrubba, whose New Jersey-based company, Annin, made the flag and sold it to NASA for $5.50 in 1969, considers what might happen to an ordinary nylon flag left outside for 39 years on Earth, let alone on the moon. He thinks for a few seconds. “I can’t believe there would be anything left,” he concludes. “I gotta be honest with you. It’s gonna be ashes.”

The House Next Door

     Well, we have some action on the building lot next door. Time to build a house. Right off the bat, that didn't work out too well. First they had to test the soil for pollution. And no wonder, as soon as they dug into the soil, you could smell the oil. Pollution from the oil tank. I remember when they were tearing down the house, they just batted that oil tank around. When there is pollution like that, they have to remove the soil for cleaning.
     That's when they got another surprise. They never removed the foundation from the old house. They just knocked it into the hole. So they had to dig that out and haul it away. Then they had to take out the polluted soil. They took truck loads away. It was going on for days. They told me they don't bring the soil back. Probably sell it. When they finished, there was a hole at least 20 ft. deep. After that they filled part of the hole with crushed rock. Truck loads and truck loads.
Today, they are getting ready to lay the foundation. The guys told me it would take 6 months to build the house. Get used to the noise.
     They told me the new owner wasn't too happy when he heard about the pollution. I think he went after the seller.
     I met the new owner last fall. If he was the guy that bought the house. The first thing he said to me, "I don't like your fence. I'm going to build my own." We're off to a good start. Then I looked at the bright side, I only have to paint my side of the fence. +-

Friday, April 8, 2016

Every time I buy salmon, the cans seem smaller.

Snow! Really?

A low pressure system is forecast to develop off the US coast and pass south of Nova Scotia overnight Saturday into Sunday.

Snow and strong winds giving reduced visibilities in blowing snow are expected to develop over much of mainland Nova Scotia overnight Saturday. As much as 10 to 15 cm of snow are forecast for Saturday night with additional snowfall expected for parts of the province on Sunday.
Rapidly accumulating snow could make travel difficult over some locations. Visibility may be suddenly reduced at times in heavy snow.

Winter storm watches are issued when multiple types of severe winter weather are expected to occur together.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Jefferson and Muslims

A different type of president then.

When Jefferson saw there was no negotiating with Muslims, he formed what
is the now the Marines (sea going soldiers). These Marines were attached
to U. S. Merchant vessels.

When the Muslims attacked U.S. merchant vessels they were repulsed by
armed soldiers, but there is more. The Marines followed the Muslims back
to their villages and killed every man, woman, and child in the village.
It didn't take long for the Muslims to leave U.S. Merchant vessels alone.
English and French merchant vessels started running up our flag when
entering the Mediterranean to secure safe travel.

Why the Marine Hymn Contains the Verse "To the Shores of Tripoli"

This is very interesting and a must read piece of our history. It points
out where we may be heading.

Most Americans are unaware of the fact that over two hundred years ago the
United States had declared war on Islam and Thomas Jefferson led the

At the height of the 18th century, Muslim pirates (the "Barbary Pirates")
were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the North

They attacked every ship in sight, and held the crews for exorbitant
ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and
wrote heart-breaking letters home, begging their government and family
members to pay whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded.

These extortionists of high seas represented the North African Islamic
nations of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers - collectively referred to
as the Barbary Coast - and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to
the new American Republic.

Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the
protection of Great Britain. When the U.S. declared its independence and
entered into war, the ships of the United States were protected by France.
However, once the war was won, America had to protect its own fleets.

Thus, the birth of the U.S. Navy. Beginning in 1784, 17 years before he
would become president, Thomas Jefferson became America's Minister to
France. That same year, U.S. Congress sought to appease its Muslim
adversaries by following in the footsteps of European nations who paid
bribes to the Barbary States rather than engaging them in war.

In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships, and the Dye of
Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. It was a plain and
simple case of extortion, and Thomas Jefferson was vehemently opposed to
any further payments. Instead, he proposed to Congress the formation of a
coalition of allied nations who together could force the Islamic states
into peace. A disinterested Congress decided to pay the ransom.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli's ambassador to
Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and
enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards
America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman
Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet,
that it was written in their Quran that all nations who would not
acknowledge their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty
to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of
all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who
should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise."

Despite this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim
nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders,
including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and
would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years the
American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe
passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments
in ransom and tribute amounted to over 20 percent of the United States
government annual revenues in 1800.

Jefferson was disgusted. Shortly after his being sworn in as the third
President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent him a
note demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for
every year forthcoming. That changed everything.

Jefferson let the Pasha know, in no uncertain terms, what he could do with
his demand. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the
American consulate and declared war on the United States. Tunis, Morocco,
and Algiers immediately followed suit. Jefferson, until now, had been
against America raising a naval force for anything beyond coastal defense,
but, having watched his nation be cowed by Islamic thuggery for long
enough, decided that it was finally time to meet force with force.

He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the
Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never
forget. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all
vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to "cause to be done all
other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify".

When Algiers and Tunis, who were both accustomed to American cowardice and
acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will
and the right to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to
Tripoli. The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years, and raged up
again in 1815. The bravery of the U.S. Marine Corps in these wars led to
the line "to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marine Hymn, and they would
forever be known as "leathernecks" for the leather collars of their
uniforms, designed to prevent their heads from being cut off by the Muslim
scimitars when boarding enemy ships.

Islam, and what its Barbary followers justified doing in the name of their
prophet and their god, disturbed Jefferson quite deeply.

America had a tradition of religious tolerance. In fact Jefferson,
himself, had co-authored the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, but
fundamentalist Islam was like no other religion the world had ever seen. A
religion based on supremacy, whose holy book not only condoned but
mandated violence against unbelievers, was unacceptable to him. His
greatest fear was that someday this brand of Islam would return and pose
an even greater threat to the United States.

This should concern every American. That Muslims have brought about
women-only classes and swimming times at taxpayer-funded universities and
public pools; that Christians, Jews, and Hindus have been banned from
serving on juries where Muslim defendants are being judged; Piggy banks
and Porky Pig tissue dispensers have been banned from workplaces because
they offend Islamist sensibilities; ice cream has been discontinued at
certain Burger King locations because the picture on the wrapper looks
similar to the Arabic script for Allah; public schools are pulling pork
from their menus; on and on and on and on..

It's death by a thousand cuts, or inch-by-inch as some refer to it, and
most Americans have no idea that this battle is being waged every day
across America. By not fighting back, by allowing groups to obfuscate what
is really happening, and not insisting that the Islamists adapt to our own
culture, the United States is cutting its own throat with a politically
correct knife, and helping to further the Islamists agenda.

Sadly, it appears that today America's STUPID leaders would rather be
politically correct than victorious!

If you have any doubts about the above information, Google "Thomas
Jefferson vs. the Muslim World