June 10, 2007

Massive Accident in Montreal

Robert Kubica of BMW was just involved in a massive accident during the Canadian Grand Prix. He went off the road at full speed and collided with a concrete barrier, shattering his car.

He was obviously unconcious when the car came to a halt on it's side... or what was left of it's side.

This was far and away the worst accident I've seen as a F1 watcher (though the Rubens Barrichello accident in 1994 may have been worse), and I fear desperately for the health of Kubica.

Stay tuned for updates as they become available.

UPDATE, JUST A MOMENT LATER: It's telling, I think, that the FIA has refused to show the work being done on Kubica. Since the accident occurred, we've not seen one shot of the car's resting place. That's scaring me more than anything, I think.

The Accident.

UPDATE 102pm: Smarmy Windsor reports that a FIA member told him that Kubica is "stable". Windsor would say that, though, being a shill for FIA. I trust him as far as I can spit a rat, so stay tuned.

UPDATE 111pm: Smarmy reports that Kubica's manager has told him that he's spoken to the Pole, that he is responsive, and still "stable". I'm starting to think that we might have dodged a bullet.

UPDATE 156pm: Robert Kubica reportedly (uncofirmed) has escaped his horrendous crash with nothing worse than a broken leg. This is incredibly good news, if true, considering what it looked like. More information will be posted as it comes, and watch for the F1 UPDATE!

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June 09, 2007

F1 QUALS: MONTREAL!

Photo from Cahier Archive

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a shakeup at the top of the grid in Montreal! McLaren's golden boy, Louis Hamilton, has his first pole, by almost a half-second over his teammate Fernando Alonso.

The big surprise, though, has to be Grizzly Nick Heidfeld putting his BMW in P3, ahead of the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen (who almost didn't make it out of Q2) and Felipe Massa, who was almost seven-tenths of a second behind Hamilton's time. It's hard to imagine that Ferrari has lost THAT much speed so quickly, so they must have more fuel on board... unless they've botched their aero package, in which case they're screwed.

Mark Webber took sixth in a fine effort for the RedBull boys. Seventh would be Nico ("Wonderboy") Rosberg in his Williams, and finishing up the 4th row is Robert Kubica's BMW.

Giancarlo Fisichella and Jarno Trulli (he of the two broken suspensions yesterday, and Toyota telling their drivers to take it easy on the curbs for the rest of the weekend) finish off the top 10. The rest of the qualifiers:

11. Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda
12. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari
13. Rubens Barrichello Honda
14. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault
15. Jenson Button Honda
16. Scott Speed Toro Rosso-Ferrari
17. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda
18. Ralf Schumacher Toyota
19. Heikki Kovalainen Renault
20. Alexander Wurz Williams-Toyota
21. Adrian Sutil Spyker-Ferrari
22. Christijan Albers Spyker-Ferrari

On a final note, I've gotta give the Renault crew a huge amount of credit. In Q1, Heikki Kovaleinieinineinnieenninnie managed to completely blow a turn and crush the rear of his car. It was bad enough that his entire rear wing was missing. He got his crippled vehicle into the pits with about eight minutes left in the session... and the Renault pit team replaced the tail, the entire rear suspension, and the right rear wheel assembly in five minutes. It didn't help much, as he still qualified 19th (and had an engine change in Saturday practice, to boot), but that's still an amazing feat of engineering and mechanical wizardry. Well done, lads.

Now, if only Heikki can make it through the race in one piece... he's really having the race weekend from Hell.

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June 08, 2007

My Brain... melting away...

Will posted something painful down in the comments a few posts back that made my head hurt. It seems to have done the same to Brickmuppet, who puts out a plea for someone... anyone... who knows what the halibut is going on, to please explain it.

I second that... and please, do it quickly. I'm running out of ways to keep my brain from leaking out my ears...

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F1 Practice: MONTREAL! (UPDATED W/PHOTOS!)

Well, if practice sessions are anything to go by, Sunday's race should be a doozy! Consider these happenings today:

1) Fernando Alonso going through the chicanes looking like he's auditioning for "The Fast and the Furious: Montreal Drift".
...turn right to go left, son.

2) Heikki Koveleineninnienineinninnie making a tire explode in a fireball by kissing the wall.
AIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

3) Mark Webber brakechecking Scott Speed after practice ended, causing Speed to ram into the back of the RedBull... and Webber then blaming the whole incident on Speed while saying "I was going slowly but he probably had his iPod going as well."
Hit from behind.  *snicker*  I said 'behind.'

4) Toyota pulling their cars from the track after Jarno Trulli's car had a suspension failure... on a straightaway, without hitting anything!
A little too much camber there...

5) We nearly had a Montreal Marmot Massacre. One of the fuzzy beasts ran across the width of the back straightway as Ralfy-boy came barrelling down on him at 190mph. Ralf obviously spotted him, as he drifted left. The marmot, on the other hand, never stopped running until it spotted the Toyota flashing by an inch in front of his face.
*SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!*
At which point, it became obvious that marmots, too, have carbon-disc brakes. As the Legendary Announce Team mentioned, it'd be hell cleaning that out of the radiators...

6) Finally, I'd be remiss if I neglected to mention the antics of Adrian Sutil. I thought the Blue Angels were good, but that was NOTHING!
I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyyy...
See what happens when you blow the chicanes? Amazingly, nothing obviously broke upon landing...

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June 07, 2007

THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP DUCKS IN ANIME!

Direct hit!
-Hayate The Combat Butler, ep2

I'm starting to believe that the rubber duckie is a little-known ninja throwing weapon...

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June 06, 2007

F1 On SPEED! Er... FOX! Er... BOTH!

Ladies and gentlemen, the first F1 race of the season LIVE on FOX is this week! But there's STILL plenty of stuff on SPEED, too!

Friday from 1pm to 230pm, we get practice from Montreal, LIVE on Speed!

Saturday, at 12noon, to 130pm, Quals come to us live on Speed!

Sunday, however, from Noon to 2pm, we get the Canadian Grand Prix Live on FOX! Who'd'a thunk it?

All times Central. Add one hour for Eastern, subtract two hours for Oregon.

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June 05, 2007

Midway Myths Debunked

Today, June 5th, is the 65th anniversary of one of the biggest victories in US Naval history, the Battle of Midway. LGF links to a post on the battle that, while well-written, brings out the usual myths of "The Miracle At Midway".

The story of Midway is well-known by now, thanks to numerous books and one feature film. Most of these books, and the movie, were mostly (if not entirely) based on American sources and a perishingly few translated Japanese "I was there" accounts that were never checked for accuracy.


Now that more researchers are able to read the raw Japanese data, such as the official War history of Japan (the Senshi Sosho), it's clear that much of what we "know" of the battle of Midway needs to be reevaluated.


Let's go over some of those myths, shall we?


1) "The near total destruction of the first wave of U.S. pilots and crew on board the "low and slow” torpedo bombers was not in vain; it alone made possible the exact conditions that allowed 50 U.S. dive bombers to send the Japanese armada to the bottom of the ocean minutes later."


2) "Four sitting duck Japanese carriers, without their protective shield of Zero fighter planes, with scores if not hundreds of Japanese planes sitting on the carrier decks, strewn with ordnance, fuel and crew..."


3) "The combined Japanese Alaskan and Midway forces, including those in support role, involved 200 ships, including 8 carriers, 11 battleships, 22 cruisers, 65 destroyers, 21 submarines and approximately 700 aircraft."


4)"A small Japanese carrier group first launched an attack on Alaska, intended to draw the U.S. Fleet out of Pearl..."


5)"The US Navy - outnumbered in carriers, ships, technology, planes and pilots - had achieved the greatest naval victory in modern history."


I'll discuss all of these below... read on, won't you?

more...

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June 04, 2007

*moaning quietly*

This is just... wrong.

Update: In comments, Pete points towards this, which might be even MORE wrong.

Which, in it's turn, reminded me of my favorite clip from AMV HELL 3: The Motion Picture... said clip can be seen HERE.

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June 03, 2007

AirFest Sunday

The day began with lousy weather, and flip-flopped between lousy and great. It rained, there was blue sky, there was thunder... very weird.

All of which made me decide to stay inside for most of the day. But not for the Blue Angels, oh no. 320pm, I was out in the middle of the field.

There was almost no wind, and the sky was blue... over the airport. Where I was standing, though, it was dark, and further towards the east it was almost black. I figured that the Angels would fly their "low" show (yesterday was the "flat" show)... and I was right. Almost everything they did was higher today than yesterday. I heard them take off (from almost five miles away), and got ready...
...all all hell broke loose.
Yeeeeow!
How a fighter jet can sneak up on you is entirely beyond me, but this one did... and he was on a speed run towards the airport. I'm actually happy to have gotten this picture, because he wasn't in sight very long.

Clicky for more! more...

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June 02, 2007

AirFest Saturday

Just like last year, I'm woken up by the hammering yowl of an 12-cylinder Merlin engine screaming by The Pond. There's nothing on earth that sounds like a P-51, in this case named Moonbeam McSwine... Al Capp would be proud.

After breakfast, I realize I'm out of duck chow and rye bread (it's like crack cocaine to us ducks), so I have to go to the grocery store... and, gee, there just happens to be one even CLOSER to the airport than The Pond. Of course, I never go there, but what the heck? I suppose just this once it'll be okay. Oh, and I'll take the camera, too... just, y'know, because...

Glad I did... as I get out of my car, these just happened by:
I'm STILL not sure who they are...

Given the number of photos still to come, click below to continue... I promise, they get better! more...

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Duck Dreams...

...of speed and power...

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June 01, 2007

It's AirFest Weekend!

One of the reasons I love where The Pond is located started today... The Duckford AirFest! It's based out of the Duckford Airport, which is about 3 miles from The Pond.

Usually, it's a small annoyance, since one of UPS' major hubs is located there, and their planes start taking off around 3am. I've gotten used to it, I'll admit, and it takes a particularly low takeoff for me to notice.

But then you have AirFest weekend... and The Pond is within the Performance Cylinder for the jets. Which leads to this:
F-15 Over Pond.

The Blue Angels are the main attraction this year. If their performance plan is anything like the one the Thunderbirds had last year, I should get some pretty darn good photos: the T-Birds were going very low, very slow, in formation, right over The Pond.

And if I'm feeling particularly brave, The Blue Angels will be joined by... The Blue Duck!

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