Ich bin ein Ente... The story behind this duckie just takes my breath away. The father of one of my old high school flock (Marty Suspenders) stopped into the Duck U Bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised, as I hadn't seen him in years, but he just stopped in to chat. Very cool catching up with him, but when he mentioned he was going to Germany, I asked him to beg, steal or borrow a duckie from that European country. Now, I ask anybody who's going overseas (heck, a trip of any duration) to look for rubber duckies from their destination, but only once has there ever been a result. In my dreams, right? I've gotten the distinct impression that rubber duckies just aren't all that common in most countries of the world.
Anyway, Suspenders the Elder walked back into the store on Monday with the above duckie and a world of smiles. He and the friends he was visiting were on the Metro, on their way to go dancing in Berlin (for some reason, I never picture people in Berlin dancing), when at a stop he saw this kiosk selling, amongst other fripperies and geegaws, the Berlin duckie! Of course he picked it up for lil' ol' me, and off they went with Mr S trying to explain about the weird friend of his son...
What he didn't realize, he told me, is that the duckie had already fallen out of his jacket pocket and gotten lost in the crowd, which must have been sheer torture for the Berlin duckie. Imagine being told you're going to America to hang out with 400+ rubber duckies, and then have that dream taken away from you... yeesh! But, surprisingly enough, Mr S found the duckie in the Metro station on the way back. Dramatic tale of duckie rescue! Then it made the long flight back to Duckford and into my wings and a happy introduction to the rest of the flock here at Pond Central.
That's it, that's the whole story. Pretty darn cool, huh?
Random Anime Picture #57: Suddenly, A Sanya Appears! -Strike Witches 2ep12
The new series was really quite good, but it could have used more Sanya V Litvyak for my tastes. As a lark, I went back and watched the original OVA, which I called "the greatest seven minutes of anime ever", and I discovered something...
-Strike Witches OVA ...it's amazing what you can do with a budget.
F1 Update!: Singapore 2010
Dark clouds overhead but a brightly lighted track below, with the five points leaders sitting in the first five slots on the grid. Sounds like a perfect setup for a great race, but is that what we got? THIS is your F1 Update! for the 2010 Grand Prix of Singapore!
*LIGHTS OUT: For once, the entire field made it away and through the first couple of turns without serious incident. Felipe Massa made a fantastic start from his grid position in Palembang, catching up with the rest of the field very quickly. However, all was not well amongst the thundering herd. Vitantonio Liuzzi earned himself a Mooooooo-oove of the Race nomination by managing to run into both ends of Grizzly Nick Heidfeld's Sauber on one pass. Heidfeld had to limp around to the pits, while Liuzzi's Force India struggled to complete the first lap, so it came as quite the surprise when he blew right past the pit entrance. However, Felipe Massa didn't, intentionally. He came right in at the end of the first lap and changed from the soft tires to the harder compound, gambling on a risky strategy. And why not? It's not like he'd fall any further behind. But Ferrari didn't account for the incompetence of Vitantonio Liuzzi.
*SAFETY CAR: Liuzzi zipped past the pit lane and began Lap 2. He never completed it. His suspension, showing obvious signs of damage from his mugging of Heidfeld, gave out and he came to a halt out on track... at a point on the circuit where there weren't any cranes. Out came the Safety Car, and out the window went everybody's strategy. The back half of the herd pitted immediately, with the top 10 staying out... except for Mark Webber. Webber rolled the dice and pitted, potentially putting himself in an excellent position. If he could stay in contact with the leaders, when THEY stopped later in the race the Red Bull would leap high up the standings, potentially as high as first.
*RUNAWAY: It quickly became clear that Webber was going to be racing for third. Polesitter HWMNBN and Red Bull's Seb Vettel rapidly pulled away from the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton. By Lap 20, the two had a nearly 15 second lead over the 2008 Champion and over 20 seconds over fourth place Jenson Button. The lead kept widening as the two frontrunners took turns setting fast lap of the race as they tried to open up a big enough gap to pit and stay ahead of Webber. Hamilton blinked first, coming in on Lap 29 after he had run his tires into the ground. Mark Webber swept past as Hamilton crawled down the pitlane to return to the race. On Lap 30, HWMNBN, Vettel and Jenson Button in third pulled in for new tires. The Ferrari driver came out first, despite Vettel having a faster pitstop... until the Red Bull driver tried to exit his pitbox in 2nd Gear. Once again, the young speedster choked under pressure, with a chance to take the lead in the balance.
*BUT THEN: If F1 fans didn't love Gandalf Kobyashi before today, when he hip-checked Slappy Schumacher into the next neighborhood they had to begin feeling all tingly. A rookie asserting himself on the Great Schumi? That's just beautiful. However, a lap later saw Gandalf fishtail himself into the wall but hard, coming to a stop on the racing line just out of sight from cars coming down on him. The HRT of Bruno Senna, the first car to come across the broken Sauber, arrowed right into the side of Gandalf. Felipe Massa, showing the sort of reflexes that one expects from frightened cats, barely avoided adding to the carnage. Another Safety Car comes out as the track marshals try to figure out how to untangle the wrecks. The restart came on Lap 36, with the standings reading HWMNBN, Vettel, Webber, Hamilton, and Button.
*SAY GOODBYE TO A CHAMPIONSHIP: While HWMNBN and Vettel had clear track in front of them, somehow the Virgin VR-1s of Lucas DiGrassi and Timo Glock had gotten gathered up by the Safety Car so he was sitting directly in front of Webber... and this is one of the few places that F1 could take lessons from NASCAR. In NASCAR safety car situations, the field is lined up in order of standing for all intents and purposes. In F1, the field bunches up in whatever order they get to the Safety Car. Webber and Hamilton got past Glock, but DiGrassi balked the Australian quite badly. Hamilton, taking advantage, pulled right tight behind the Red Bull then swept past on the outside. Everything was to the advantage of the McLaren as they approached the next turn: he had the racing line AND he was clearly in front of the Red Bull. Webber, however, saw an opening that truly wasn't there and smashed hard into Hamilton, deranging the MP4-25's suspension while the RB-6 continued on merrily. Hamilton made it into a run-off area and, furiously throwing his steering wheel into the night, retired from the race for the second time in a row. Unlike at Monza however, this time wasn't his fault. While the stewards declared it a "racing incident," replays pretty clearly showed that Webber wouldn't have made the turn if he hadn't hit the McLaren. The Red Bull did sustain some damage, picking up what was later described as a nasty vibration, but Hamilton's chances for a second Driver's Championship suddenly look grim indeed.
*THE ENDS: Ahead of the carnage, HWMNBN and Vettel pulled away again, continuing to exchange fast lap between the two of them for the rest of the race. While the Ferrari held the lead, the Red Bull wasn't letting it get away in the least. Eventually, they swept across the finish line only 0.2 seconds apart, one of the closest finishes in recent memory. All wasn't calm behind them, though. Robert Kubica had managed to get himself to 7th place, but drove the tires off his Renault... literally. On Lap 46, he had to pit for new rubber, his right-rear tire showing the canvas backing in some places. He dropped to 13th by the time he returned to the track... and thus began one of the better drives we've seen in a while. On Lap 52, he passed Buemi for 11th and his Renault teammate Petrov for 10th, and pulled up to Massa, whom he passed on Lap 53. On Lap 55, Kubica passed Force India's Adrian Sutil for 7th, regaining the position he relinquished when he pitted. Just awesome driving from the Pole. And then there's the Heikki Kovaleinninninnie story. On Lap 59, the Finn and Seb Buemi bump, with the Lotus ending up pointing the wrong direction but able to continue. Unknown to the Finnish driver, the contact caused a small fuel leak in his Lotus. By the time he made it to the front straight, his engine was fully aflame:
Understandably unwilling to bring a blazing car into the pitlane, Heikki instead pulled to a stop just short of the start/finish line. Once the Lotus stopped, the rear of the car went up like a molotov cocktail had been thrown at it. Unfortunately, the pitlane fire crew wasn't near his stopping point. However, Heikki himself grabbed a fire extinguisher and began to fight the blaze.
The Lotus was pretty much toast by the time HWMNBN and Seb Vettel ended the race, the smoldering car a dramatic counterpoint to the victors.
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: HWMNBN and Seb Vettel both deserve this award as the two of them drove flawless races. The Ferrari driver, however, pulled off the rare F1 Grand Slam: pole, win, fast lap, and he led every lap of the race. Yeah, that's pretty dominant.
*TEAM OF THE RACE: Red Bull. 2nd and 3rd, retaking the lead in the constructor's championship, and one of your men leading the driver's championship? Yeah, pretty good race for the team.
*MOVE OF THE RACE: As previously mentioned, Robert Kubica pitted from 7th late in the race and then fought his way back up to regain the position relinquished. What was really impressive was the pass on Adrian Sutil to complete his quest, passing the Force India driver on the outside of the 90-degree Turn 7 at the end of the longest straight on the track. Well done for the Pole, and maybe enough to earn him a drive for Ferrari next year... or so the rumors say, anyway.
*MOOOOOOOOOO-OOVE OF THE RACE: Grizzly Nick Heidfeld was happy. He was finally back in a F1 car for real, and had proven that he hadn't lost anything in the meantime. The first lap had gone swimmingly, and things looked good for the rest of the race... maybe even points! And then Vitantonio Liuzzi came along and did bad things. First the Force India driver slammed into the rear of the Sauber. In one swift mooooo-oove, Liuzzi went past the damaged Sauber, then cut back across Heidfeld's nose, sending pieces of it flying off into the night. That's right, Liuzzi somehow figured out how to damage both ends of the Sauber in one move, without sending it into the wall. Pretty impressive, and quite the Moooooooo-oove! Heidfeld, his downforce compromised, ended up in the walls around Lap 30 or so. Liuzzi, in a case of just desserts, retired his car on Lap 3.
Massa finished 8th, so yes, he got some points. A fine finish for him, particularly considering that his early pitstop strategy got trashed by the first safety car.
The fire extinguisher that Heikki used was handed to him by a Williams mechanic. Believe it or not, it alone pretty much put out the fire! Two marshals came along a few seconds later and turned the Lotus white with their equipment, but there was no visible fire at that point. All praise to Heikki!
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 27, 2010 06:54 AM (blg68)
That loser Petrov is out of points again. The only comfort must be that he's faster than Schumacher.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 28, 2010 12:08 PM (9KseV)
One has to wonder when the last time Ferrari qualified on pole and dead last in the same race, without penalties. You'll note that Massa set no time... either a frozen gearbox or an electronic engine management problem, one of the two (I've seen conflicting reports), brought the Brazilian to a stop out on track, ending whatever hope he had of a good race. I've also seen reports that he's going to have to change both his gearbox and the engine. If so, he'll be starting the race from the vicinity of Palembang. Anyway, Ferrari then had the exciting experience of having HWMNBN call in early in Q2 reporting problems with his engine. The team brought him in, rebooted the electronics, then sent him back out, all fingers crossed. Of course the problem disappeared, much like when you restart your computer after it can't find your keyboard. After that, it became a matter of HWMNBN ripping off ridiculously fast laps in a car that people were saying would stink after Monza, and nobody being able to match him. His pole lap wasn't even done in the final shootout, but on his first flying lap in Q3. HWMNBN now has two consecutive poles, and has suddenly catapulted himself into legit discussion for the Driver's Championship.
The rest of the heavy hitters were pretty much as you'd expect. The big surprises today had to be the two replacement drivers, Grizzly Nick Heidfeld and Taoist Klien. Remember what happened with Luca Badoer and Ferrari in 2009? He stepped into the car and was far and away the slowest man on the grid. Well, Grizzly Nick qualified midpack, a respectable performance indeed. Over at HRT meanwhile, Jainist Klien simply demolished his teammate Bruno Senna. He was over a second faster than Senna, which makes me wonder what the HRT might actually be capable of in the hands of someone a) talented and 2) experienced in the car. Lord knows that DJ DNF, Senna and Cowboy Karun Chandhok haven't exactly covered themselves in glory this season.
So there you have it. The five drivers in contention for the Driver's Championship are in the top five grid slots, which makes me think that the run to Turn 1 might be somewhat exciting tomorrow. Of course, F1Update! will be along with the usual coverage... see you then!
F1 Practice: Singapore 2010
I suppose it's wrong to be disappointed with a dry practice session (and a mostly dry track), particularly on a circuit like Singapore that's only been raced on twice before. But I'll be darned if I wasn't hoping for drizzle or more, and I didn't get it. Worse news still, the Legendary Announce Team minus The Varsha, who's on assignment at the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction in Las Vegas this weekend, told us that while its been raining during the days, the rain stops as night falls. That'd mean a dry race, for which I say boo-hiss! However, a lack of rain does mean we get shots like this:
...so I guess it's a fair trade-off.
Action on-track was about what you'd expect from a practice session. Lots of cars going round and round, trying desperately to get lots of laps in on an unfamiliar circuit. This is particularly important considering that Friday's 1st Practice was truncated by rain. Further, the heavy hitters stayed in the garage for most of the earlier session, letting the bottomfeeders go out, clean the dust off the circuit and lay down some rubber around the curves. In P2 though, the big guys pretty much dominated the session, with the top five drivers in the Championship holding down the top five slots on the timesheet.
It wasn't all fun and games in Singapore though, as the track never really dried out; lots of rain mixed with high humidity, no wind, and no sunlight meant that the moisture never went away. We saw a lot of fishtailing, some doinks of the rear wheels off the walls, and quite a few people touching the brakes and sliding off into the darkness. And then you had Adrian Sutil getting a little too much curb in the Singapore Sling chicane, with results that can't be considered pretty:
Whee! I'm a pilot!
The landing was even less pretty, with the Force India's front suspension splintering like a twig. Shouldn't be a problem for Saturday's qualifying sessions, but the mechanics will be wondering just what else got knocked around by Adrian's attempt at imitating the Surya Kiran (or, for PhDuck, à¤¸à¥‚à¤°à¥à¤¯ à¤•à¤¿à¤°à¤£).
Which brings us to the biggest surprise of the day. Night. Whatever. Anyway, the surprise... DJ DNF, Sakon Yamamoto hisownbadself, is not driving for HRT this race, allegedly because he's ill. Taking his place for Singapore is none other than Christian Klien, last seen in F1 driving for Red Bull in 2006. Somewhere the dark spectre of The Zsolt is gnashing his teeth... and plotting to reclaim Klien.
Quals in the morning but about two hours later than normal... the session starts at 10pm race local time, two hours later than the actual race time. See you then!
No, no reason for this picture to be here... ...except Slappy looks goofy.
"Explosions and Cool Vehicles!"
So I'm sitting around, doing this and that, when I get a message from a friend of mine. Here's the pertinent portion of it:
Did I ever tell you that my friends and I watched the first episode of
Popotan the other day on Netflix? Um, extremely bizarre and a little
disturbing. That was months ago. Lately we find ourselves still
talking about it. It was only one episode. We may have to watch more.
Is this how the addiction starts? If that's the case we'd prefer anime
with more explosions and cool vehicles. Got any suggestions for a
bunch of anime noobs?
Now as you know, my tastes don't exactly run towards "explosions and cool vehicles." I'm much more of a slice-of-life kinda guy, and there sure ain't any 'splody bits in Kanon '06. So I turn to you, my loyal readers. Give me your favoriteist splody anime... and it's gotta be available on DVD, so no fansubs. We've got a chance to create a couple of new otaku here, so let's get them started on the right foot!
Good question... Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo definitely satisfies the criteria, but it's not officially licensed in R1. Macross Frontier, ditto. I suppose the next is going to be Black Lagoon, then. Last Exile would be my choice if I did not hate GONZO.
Note that I am discounting non-goofy giant robots, even super robots, but including mecha insomuch they are vehicles (e.g. QT Arms in case of Sorakake are ridiculously cool vehicles, IMHO, but Gurren-Lagann's gunmen are definitely not vehicles).
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 23, 2010 09:42 PM (9KseV)
I suggested BGC 2040, but also told her to hold off until we came to a decision, so powered suits are not a negative.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 23, 2010 11:44 PM (blg68)
How about Dragon Ball Kai? No vehicles; they don't need 'em because they can fly. But plenty of cool explosions, albeit not in every episode.
I don't usually make recommendations, but Gunsmith Cats is a 3-ep OVA set in Chicago that's really short and punchy, and it was licensed by ADV and should be available through Netflix, though it might be a little hard to find now that it's out of print. Riding Bean, also set in Chicago and based on a Kenichi Sonoda manga is a good choice, too, and can also be gotten through Netflix. For a longer TV series, I can heartily recommend Baccano!, as licensed by FUNi.
Posted by: Lord Head at September 24, 2010 01:28 AM (4+2v0)
Bubblegum Crisis is definitely the choice, although I would go for the original over 2040. Ghost in the Shell doesn't meet the letter of the requirements but is probably good for the spirit. And much as I shudder to say it, the current movie remakes of the series not to be recommended are actually quite good and certainly have a lot of amazingly animated 'splody bits.
Posted by: David at September 24, 2010 01:42 AM (rlE2m)
Gunsmith Cats is a great three-ep show; was one of my gateway drugs.
Full Metal Panic is another good one for relative anime newbies. Good mix of humor and bangbang. Outlaw Star is good for many of the same reasons.
If their first show was Popotan, they could do worse than FLCL - it's got a high action-and-weirdness quotient. Abenobashi is up the same alley, but a lot farther; save it for once you're used to the school anime tropes.
Both BGC series will work, though probably "one or the other" is a better idea. The original has better music and a better aesthetic; the TV series has cleaner lines but is a bit more by-the-numbers.
I'd stay away from Ghost in the Shell for the time being. It can get preachy or gaze too long at the ol' navel, though when it's on a roll, it's on a roll. Definitely a good second-wave show when you're already used to the genre and you're in the mood for something with a little weight to it.
Lotta good giant-robot type shows. Stay away from Eva for the time being - again, not a good gateway show. FMP as above, maybe the new Appleseed movies (not the old one, ugly as sin). I liked RahXephon a lot personally, but it's almost a shame to watch it before Eva...
Cowboy Bebop. I know Steven disagrees with me, but I consider it a work of art. And it's quite Western in themes, tones, and designs...
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 24, 2010 03:46 AM (mRjOr)
Lord Head, Avatar, I thought long and hard about suggesting Gunsmith Cats as I love the show. The only reason I didn't was because of its age... not having ever Netflix'd before, I have no idea what the likelihood of it being available are.
FMP... I dislike the first series, but adore Fumoffu.
Why am I writing this at 547am? I'm going back to bed.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 24, 2010 04:47 AM (blg68)
Do you want something on the shorter side? I mean, there's any number of Gundam series, but 26-52 eps is probably too long right of the bat. Same for Macross, even if it's a classic. Now, you could try Gundam: 8th MS Team, or Macross Plus as both are pretty much self-contained storylines. I've heard good things about Black Lagoon too.
I'm also seconding Bebop.
Posted by: JP Gibb at September 24, 2010 07:39 AM (S3r8/)
Galaxy Angel? Lots of weird vehicles and explosions, but IMHO there isn't anything else to recommend about the series.(Gad, I hated it...)
Explosions and cool vehicles, eh? Strike Witches and Asobi ni Iku Yo would count, I think. Almost every Strike Witches episode features a Neuroi going boom, for example. And the Strikers have to count as "cool vehicles".
Meanwhile, AnIY has a lot of gunfire. Not so many explosions (a few, early) but it has cool vehicles in spades, beginning with Eris's space ship.
with more explosions and cool vehicles.
Van Dread was recently re-released in a thin pack (with 2 OAVs grrrr) there is much splodieness and vehicular coollness therein. Both series have very satisfying climaxes.
I am not generally a fan of Gundam per se, the series are too long and depressing, but there is a short OAV series from '91 called 0083 STARDUST MEMORY that is quite good. The mechs are McGuffins, but not the focus of the writing. The hunt For Red October + the Battle of River Platte plus
The Riechstag fire in space. Recently re-released, it holds up surprisingly well .
I agree with most of the things said, re: BGC. It is quite good.
Black Lagoon does get painfully grim towards the end of second season...but there is OH so much splody goodness.
Cowboy Beebop is good if one hides the last two episodes, though it such a Quinn Martin production that its retro elements might be a turn off to your friends.
Last Exile is gorgeous steampunk though it tries so hard to be epic that it just comes off as pompous at times. Still it has good characters and really cool vehicles that go 'splody in a most pretty way.
Posted by: Brickmuppet at September 24, 2010 02:53 PM (EJaOX)
I can't see recommending Strike Witches to a new fan. Not that I'm saying it's a lousy show, but well... I mean... no pants. It's the same reason I wouldn't recommend Divergence Eve - there might be a good show under there, but that's NOT the first thing you're going to think of!
Noir isn't a boom-boom things-blowing-up show, really. Even so, it might well do the job...
Posted by: Avatar at September 24, 2010 03:43 PM (pWQz4)
How about "UFO Princess Valkyrie 2"? In terms of "cool vehicles" there's Mehm's space ship. In terms of explosions, some of the battles between Valkyrie Ghost and Akidra are legend-making. (Don't look at me like that. I'm no loon.)
Actually, I think the suggestion above of Vandread is a pretty good idea. And I just thought I'd point out that Martian Successor Nadesico is back in print.
Another possibility is "Burst Angel". I didn't happen to like it, but that doesn't mean it's worthless. (It just didn't fit my taste profile.)
Av, thank you for pointing out the whole "new fan" thing! Remember folks, all these two have seen EVER is the first episode of Popotan.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 24, 2010 06:37 PM (blg68)
I agree with the earlier suggestions. However, for a newbie, perhaps something that tells a complete story in one sitting, rather than a long series? I suggest the Cowboy Bebop movie to start. If they like that, then mention that there's a full season series which shows how the characters met, back stories, etc.
Posted by: Siergen at September 24, 2010 06:54 PM (Xh3Fu)
Brickmuppet nailed it, with the exception of Vandread/Stellvia twins. Those have too much else going on.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 24, 2010 07:24 PM (9KseV)
Nadesico was another of my first anime. Watched it with the club, along with Fushigi Yuugi... It's good but also a lot better once you've got some nostalgia going on. ;p
Posted by: Avatar at September 24, 2010 09:46 PM (pWQz4)
I can't think Crest is a good starter. For people that have watched one episode and want more, with big booms, there is no reason to go further than Vandread and BGC to start with. I still recommend the original BGC. It's got good art, amazing music, and a story that works if you don't spend too much thought on it but has layers to unravel if you want to think about them. It also is in OAV format, so you don't have to wait for episode 13 or 26 to conclude something. If they like that, then you can hit them with Vandread, and then think about branching away from 'splody stuff as the focus and get out the Ghibli, Haibane, etc.
Posted by: David at September 25, 2010 08:46 PM (rlE2m)
Ph.Duck and I got together for dinner tonight at the Chinese place we tend to go to every month or so. In lieu of me actually having anything to actually, y'know, write about, there's a picture of my main course.
Let's Talk Books
A couple of years ago, I was at the Duck U Bookstore when one of our history professors came in. At the time, we had a small area set aside on the counter for "Staff Picks", books that those of us who worked at the Bookstore had read and recommended. My two picks that month were World War Z, which I had just finished reading, and Shattered Sword, the 2005 book that turned a lot of what was known about the Battle of Midway on its collective head.
Knowing that the professor in question taught a class on WWII, I suggested Shattered Sword to him, and thus began a close to 45 minute dialogue on Midway and the Pacific War in general (it was summertime, during a stretch where we might go the entire day and see maybe three customers). When we were finished and the prof had purchased both of my "Staff Picks", one of my co-workers looked at me with something akin to stunned disbelief. "He's a history professor, how were you able to to talk to him like that about his specialty?", for indeed, his specialty was the Pacific War and Korea (where he himself served).
I thought for a second and replied "I read a lot." Her reaction, again, was stunned disbelief. "History books? You read history books for fun?"
Well, yeah. I do.
I'd like to write a little bit about some of the books on Midway that I've in my collection, if I may indulge myself a bit... and, seeing how it's my blog, I think I can.
In "The Codebreakers", Kahn devotes an entire chapter to the code group at Pearl Harbor, particularly talking about their performance during the Midway campaign. As you say, it's clear that the code breakers themselves were not in doubt about what "AF" meant, but since they were trying to convince Nimitz to gamble the fleet on it, they needed proof.
The "Midway" movie is a travesty in a lot of regards, especially concerning the codebreakers. That scene where they talked about "15%. No, 10%" is bullshit. In fact, they completely decoded and translated the entire Japanese operational order which was transmitted in JN-25B just before the superencipherment tables were changed, and gave the whole thing to Nimitz so he could use it to plan his battle. He couldn't have learned more if he'd personally attended Yamamoto's flag briefing session.
Bee-YOOT-eeful post, Duck. Ordered up a copy of "A Glorious Page" while I was reading your post. Please to send the info WRT Last Flight as I think I need that to go with my copies of Shattered Sword and A Dawn Like Thunder.
Thanks for feeding my history jones....
Posted by: The Old Man at September 23, 2010 12:59 PM (+LRPE)
Got interested in Midway flight to nowhere after seeing the movie battle of midway on tv over Memorial day. The magnetic declination in the Midway Islands in 1942 was just under 10 degree positive from true north. If that guy that went the wrong way "flight to nowhere" and left the torpedo bombers unprotected had not used this declination it might explain the whole mystery. This seems to be a common mistake for new crews, especially is they are used to using some other declination say from the US west coast. Thank God for GPS these days. Thanks, nice site
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 02:06 AM (i4M8y)
If the magnetic declination was added instead of subtracted the difference would be from 240 to 270 degrees, almost exactly (to the degree) the diffence in the flight paths reported during the battle. Just so no one thinks I'm a know it all, the reason I thought of this was that I failed desert phase of Ranger school for sending my company in on the wrong heading during a raid. We jumped into in west Texas and heading out on a heading I planed while still in Ft. Benning GA (incorrectly using Ft. Benning GA magnectic declination).
WWII had very unpleasant results much worse than mine, interestingly with possible overall benefit to the battle as chance or providence would have it (who knows what the fighter cover would have been like over the successful bombing runs if this mistake had not happened). I know its possible to easily screw this up, as it happened to me too.
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 08:10 PM (i4M8y)
OK I know its 30 degrees verses 20 degrees difference but what the alternative explaination?
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 08:57 PM (i4M8y)
I remember that the first one that came down got us over to the left. Lt. Cmdr. Waldron, who was on his air phone, asked Dobbs if that was a Zero or if it was one of our planes. I didn't know whether Dobbs answered him or not, but I came out on the air and told him that it was a TBD. He also called Stanhope Ring from "John E. One, answer" and we received no answer from the air groups. I don't know if they even heard us or not, but I have always had a feeling that they did hear us. I think that was one of the things that caused them to turn north as I think the squadron deserves quite a bit of credit for the work that they did.
Personally, I was just lucky. I've never understood why I was the only one that came back, but it turned out that way. I want to be sure that the men that didn't come back get the credit for the work that they did. They followed Waldron without batting an eye. I don't feel like a lot of people have felt that we made mistakes and that Waldron got us into trouble. I don't feel that way at all. I know that if I had it all to do over again, even knowing that the odds were going to be like they were, knowing him like I knew him, I'd follow him again through exactly the same thing because I trusted him very well. We did things that he wanted us to do not because he was our boss, but because we felt that if we did the things he wanted us to do, then it was the right thing to do.
Posted by: ted parsons at June 02, 2011 09:17 PM (i4M8y)
F1 on SPEED!: Singapore 2010
With the European leg of the season completed, the F1 Circus packs up and hauls their tents halfway around the world to the island nation of Singapore this week. Home to the world's busiest port, Singapore is also the home of a F1 race with a difference:
It takes place entirely at night. This'll be the third time Singapore has hosted a race on the Marina Bay Street Circuit... let's take a look at the track map:
As a spectacle, Singapore is wonderful. The cars shimmer and gleam under the fifty-gazillion overhead lights, in a way they don't anywhere else. A highway flies over the front straight, there are two bridges involved with the circuit, and the cars actually run underneath some of the seating grandstands, just to make everything all that much cooler. As a street circuit, there are many buildings lining the circuit, many of which are beautifully lighted themselves. From the air, the track itself glows, looking like a ribbon of light against the dark background.
As a racetrack however, Singapore leaves a lot to be desired. The heat and humidity makes it a chore to race on, like a cross between Monaco (for the narrowness) and Sepang (for the heat). Last year, officials resurfaced many of the turns in an attempt to smooth out the hideously bumpy breaking zones. Despite this, the drivers still asked for them to be improved. Reportedly they've been ground down again. The curbs have been lowered as well, as the teams thought that they might actually break a suspension going over them. There's few passing zones, and a mistake at any time will put you into the Armco and out of the race.
But it looks cool.
It's pretty clear that to have a good race at Singapore, we're going to need rain. In 2008, HWMNBN got the win after his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr intentionally crashed to give him an advantage. 2009 brought us a flat-out boring race that saw a runaway Lewis Hamilton victory. The weather forecast calls for showers and thunderstorms all weekend, so we might just get F1's first night-rain race. Let's hope so, just for entertainment's sake.
Of course, the good folks at SPEED will bring us every minute of Friday's second practice LIVE, from 830am to 1010am. Saturday will see the drivers go for pole during Qualifying, from 9am to 1030am. Finally, Sunday brings us the 2010 Grand Prix LIVE from 630am to 9am, with a replay from 12noon to 230pm. All times are Pond Central.
Finally, the FIA released the official engine usage list, and clarified if Grizzly Nick Heidfeld would have to deal with Pete Rose's engine penalties. Here's the updated list:
Mark Webber 6 Rubens Barrichello 6 Robert Kubica 6 Vitaly Petrov 6 HWMNBN 8 Felipe Massa 8 Grizzly Nick Heidfeld 9 Everybody else has used 7 engines.
Unfortunately for Grizzly Nick, he will take a 10-spot penalty every time he uses a new engine from now on. Of course you can always use an old engine if you wish. Looking at this, it's clear that Mark Webber, current championship points leader, has an advantage over his rivals in that he's got two unboxed engines in hand, where everybody else only have, at best, one. What difference will this make, with five races left to go? We will see, won't we?
2Unfortunately for Grizzly Nick, he will take a 10-spot penalty every time he uses a new engine from now on.
If I were Peter Sauber, I'd have to wonder what the point is of even running a car with this sort of penalty for what could be all of the remaining races; it would take a minor miracle for Heidfeld to even get into the points with this sort of handicap. OTOH, they could just blow off the points and turn Heidfeld's car into a test mule for components for the 2011 car. Of course you can always use an old engine if you wish.
Can a team repair a worn or damaged engine without it counting as a new engine under the rules? That assumes a F1 engine can be repaired like a road car's engine; I'm guessing that when something lets go at 18,000 rpm, the results are catastrophic.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at September 21, 2010 05:33 PM (c62wM)
Does the penalty kick in once each time a new engine is needed, or is the penalty for each race run from here on out?
Steven, the Singapore Flyer will indeed be running during the race. It's about a 30-minute run from start to finish, and there's always some good shots from up there during coverage.
The penalty comes into play whenever they need a new engine. If Sauber keeps reusing the same nine engines the rest of the way, they don't get penalized. I think the test mule is the way they'll be going since Grizzly Nick has zero experience in this car, but we'll see about that.
Peter, they can't rebuild the engine, per the tech regs. They can inspect it, borescope it, everything they can think of to make sure it's okay, but they can't replace or repair parts.
Jet engines make big boom too, Steven, but that's not the same as a car engine. A Top Fuel engine is basically a 500 lb bomb with some pistons attached. There's a reason the dragster's mechanics have to rebuild their engine after every pass, after all. I mean, yes it puts out somewhere between 8000 and 10000hp, but after ten seconds at top power they get all explodey.
Meanwhile, a F1 engine is designed to run at 600-700hp or so (teams don't release horsepower statistics... ever) for two race weekends at least. They also weigh about 200lbs, and can fit into a shoebox (I'm exaggerating, but not by much).
Perhaps I'm just impressed by the reliability. A F1 engine idles at around 7000rpm. The Duckmobile's tach maxes out at 7000, and I think the only way I could get it that high would be to hang the car from the ceiling and bury the accelerator.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 21, 2010 09:34 PM (blg68)
F1 fuel is basically pump gas. Octane is limited by the rule set to a range of 95-102, Additives are also fairly limited, but they can put in a small percentage of oxygenates, also a small amount of some things like methane, etc. Basically it's not high-power fuel, but they can pull tricks to let them push the envelope on spark timing and compression.
Posted by: David at September 22, 2010 10:45 AM (oyblT)
What he said. Used to be you could put all sorts of crepe into the gas, but that got outlawed a while back.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 22, 2010 12:17 PM (OS+Cr)
Actually, if the octane rating is 95-102 then it is "high power fuel". I would have thought Wonderduck would remember how American shipments of 100 octane av-gas made a big difference in the Battle of Britain.
Most pump gas is in the high 80's.
Of course, I suppose that "high power" is a relative term. It's still not like nitromethane.
Some pumps sell 100. I saw it myself in Tracy, for example.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 22, 2010 08:27 PM (9KseV)
To be sure, 100 octane is a high power gasoline, but it's still gasoline. As you point out, liquid explosives like nitromethane is a whole different class of power supply. If there was some way to use it without turning a car into a rolling demolition charge, I'm sure the F1 teams would have at least looked into it back in the day when they could do that sort of thing.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 22, 2010 08:31 PM (blg68)
I know of at least three gas stations within a 15 minute drive of Pond Central that sell 100 octane gasoline. It's no surprise that they're all near the Duckford Speedway, of course.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 22, 2010 08:35 PM (blg68)
My car requires 92 octane. And it's not that hard to get 100 if you go looking for it, and 110 can be had at many race tracks and some specialty shops. But octane isn't actually a meaningful measure of fuel power, 87 and 100 both give you the same bang. Higher octane just means you can run higher compression without getting knock, and it's THAT which produces extra power. So running 110 in an engine tuned for 87 gets you nothing, but if you know you're going to be pumping in 110 then you can design and tune the engine to run at higher power. And of course if you know you're going to be running nitromethane, then you can go crazy. Even with that fuel, it's not the fuel itself that's producing the insane power levels, but the fact that a top fuel engine has a compression ratio that is just insane compared to even F1.
Posted by: David at September 22, 2010 10:17 PM (rlE2m)
One Year Later One year ago today, the woman readers of The Pond knew as Momzerduck, and I knew as Mom, passed away. I'd love to say something deep and meaningful right now, but find that I'm just... numb. It's taken me close to a hour just to type this short statement.
I guess I'm coping with her loss. I can't remember the last time I broke down, and I no longer run away whenever I smell hand sanitizer. I no longer expect my cellphone to ring at 7pm.
International Talk Like A Pirate Day 2010 Ahoy, maties! T' Yan-Yan Pirates, sworn enemies o' those scurvy dogs, t' Pocky Ninjas, welcome ye t' International Talk Like A Pirate Day! When they be comin' for your Yan-Yan, 'tis best you just run up t' white flag, fer a scruffier band of bilge rats don't exist anywhere on t' high seas! They'll do bad things t' ye! YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
Okay, they're not scruffy... they're rubber ducks, perhaps the least scruffy thing in the world. And they won't do bad things to you; again, they're rubber ducks. Rubber ducks just don't do "bad things." At worst, they'll just sort of walk away with your Meiji sweets. YARRRRR!
But the rivalry between the Pocky Ninjas and the Yan-Yan Pirates is legendary; you don't want to get betwixt the two sides. Then bad things really WILL happen to you... very bad things.
The Ships of Strike Witches ep11
In this episode, the Powers That Be have decided that it's time to go on full attack with (mostly) conventional forces against the Neuroi Hive that's sitting over Romagna. The 501st will be reduced to escorting the naval vessels involved. Well, we all know that won't last for long, but let's take a look at the ship list the show provides us with, because it's a doozy!
The first thing that leaped out at me was that it appears that I got my aircraft carriers wrong. Allegedly. The Chitose and Chiyoda would have been lousy choices to escort the Yamato halfway around the world. They were poor carriers, unsurprising since they were actually converted seaplane tenders. They weren't particularly fast, nor were they long-legged. Meh, so I'm wrong, because that's what's up there on the screen.
Of course, there's also the Amagi. A member of the Unryu class, which was based off the Hiryu, in real life the Amagi's career was pretty much limited to the Inland Sea before it was sunk in harbor at Kure Naval Base by USN planes. It capsized to port, with its starboard-side island nearly parallel to the water. So how exactly did the producers of Strike Witches miss this:
Yeah, the island is on the port side. Whoopsie. I'd write it off to alternate-universe, yadda yadda, but they've been so good about how the ships looked up until now.
Ignore the flying battleship, the Amagi's island is on the bloody wrong side! Whoopsie.
There's another big mistake in the order-of-battle in the first picture. The Amagi's plane guard destroyer is the Hatsuzuki, which in real life was sunk at the Battle of Leyte Gulf. That's fine and all, but please note that the Hatsuzuki is also shown as being off the Yamato's starboard bow. Whoopsie again. The Imperial Japanese Navy built some fantastic destroyers in WWII, but none of them were good enough to be two places at once.
The USS Nicholas (DD-449) was commissioned on June 4th, 1942, and had a busy war. She was decommissioned in 1970. The USS La Vallette (DD-448) was put in service August 12th, 1942. She took an aerial torpedo off Guadalcanal, then suffered crippling damage from a mine in February 1945. She was retired shortly after the end of the war. She stayed in the reserve fleet until 1974, when she was sold to Peru as spare parts. I'm guessing the "USS HEY" to starboard of the Chiyoda, is the Heywood L Edwards (DD-663), named after the captain of the USS Reuben James, the first US ship sunk in WWII. The Edwards was commissioned January 1944 and was transferred to the Japanese Naval Self-Defense Force in 1959 as the Ariake.
The doesn't appear to be a destroyer named the Federico Nani in the Regia Marina during WWII, though there was a submarine called the Nani. I can find no information regarding who Mr Nani was, other than a brief note that he commanded a fleet in defense of Venice against the Ottoman Turks at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571. It'd make sense that a ship would be named for him, but I'll be darned if I can find one.
I'll ignore most of the battleships. They're easy to identify for the most part, and easy to find information on. I will mention one, though. In the lower-right, there's a "HMS HO" listed, and I thought that the producers had made another mistake. After all, the HMS Hood was a battlecruiser, not a battleship. Turns out that the last of the King George V-class was the HMS Howe, which was also the last British battleship built that served in WWII (the Vanguard was completed after the war ended). In fact, four of the five KGV's are in the order-of-battle, and are in line in the order they were completed (only the namesake isn't listed).
I still don't think that those were the Chitose and Chiyoda, though.
Seeing Prince of Wales and Bismark in the same formation is really wierd, IMO. Recon your right that is Howe instead of Hood, just as well as having the Hood in the formation too would completely overload my wierdness sensor
Posted by: Andy Janes at September 19, 2010 06:51 AM (WzAFV)
I didn't go into it in that great of detail. I was just turned off by the picture of Amagi and Yamato sailing that close together. They didn't do that; it was much too dangerous. The only time ships would have been that close would have been during rescue operations, and it would be cruisers or destroyers doing it.
And the flying battleship didn't make you blink?
Think of it as refueling operations, Steven, though the IJN did it bow-to-stern as opposed to the USN's side-by-side.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 19, 2010 09:36 AM (blg68)
The flying battleship didn't even make me blink, because of course I expect that in this anime. The angle of attack though.. I sure hope they got the crew off before it took off, or they're going to have lots of injuries in there!
And of course the girl giving an earnest serious briefing in her briefs. Only anime can do that.
God bless anime.
Posted by: David at September 19, 2010 05:11 PM (rlE2m)
That is not the Unryu class Amagi that is the Akagi class Amagi, a sister of Akagi that was irreparably damaged in the 1923 Kanto earthquake. Look at Akagi and you will notice that the pictured ship is identical including the port side island.
Posted by: nobody at July 22, 2012 07:43 PM (31Yhq)
Your necromancy is unwelcome. Now, having said that, allow me to quote from this very post: "I'd write it off to alternate-universe, yadda yadda, but they've been so good about how the ships looked up until now."
I don't agree with you, nobody. The series just hasn't done fantasy ships; you may be right, but there's no precedent for it in the show.
Posted by: Wonderduck at July 22, 2012 10:07 PM (9ckGE)
Nobody, I deleted your comment for a few reasons.
One, I refuse to be insulted by someone hiding behind a name like "nobody."
Two, I don't claim to be any sort of expert on anything... I do this because I enjoy it. Having said that, every single reference book I have here at Pond Central says that the Unryu-class of carriers was based on the Hiryu, not the Soryu. I'll trust them over you.
Three, your supercilious, arrogant and, ohbytheway incorrect, comment did a fine job of annoying me. Go away.
Comments on this thread are closed.
Posted by: Wonderduck at August 04, 2012 06:29 PM (DuJ3r)
F1 Pr0n First Look: Korean International Circuit
Usually, F1 Pr0n deals strictly with the rollout of the cars for the new F1 season. However today we've got something special on tap: a whole new circuit. The Korean International Circuit at Yeongam is due to play host to the first GP of Korea on October 24th, but there's been talk of the place not being finished in time. Well, I'm here to tell you that it sure as heck looks like the talk is true. But first, here's the track map:
Okay, let's play "Guess The Track Designer," shall we? Nah, what's the point, it's pretty obvious that Hermann Tilke's scat is all over the layout. There is one series of turns that I'm fascinated with on here, Turns 4, 5 and 6. I'm fascinated because I can't imagine anybody thinking that a hairpin followed by a tight 90-degree turn followed by another 90-degree turn in the opposite direction could possibly make for good racing.
I can see Tilke's design process at work here: "First let's draw some straight lines. Then I'll let the cat push a piece of charcoal around the paper. Okay, that's the layout!" Remember once upon a time I mentioned how all the good circuits in F1 had a flow to them, how one part of the track should lead to another in a natural, organic way? Well, the KIC doesn't do that anywhere. It honestly feels like Tilke set out to avoid that at all costs.
To make matters worse, there's much doubt in my mind as to whether or not the whole place will be finished in the five weeks remaining until race weekend. "But Wonderduck," I hear you asking, "how do you know that???" Well, allow me to show you an interesting picture:
This is the view of the main straight from right around where the start/finish line is marked on the trackmap. That's the main grandstands on the left, the paddock area is to the right. Does that look even remotely like someplace you'd want to go to to watch a race? Does that grandstand look like it's completed? Other structures around the track are much the same, looking like concrete shells with nothing inside, just the exterior walls. The actual race track asphalt is laid, but the curbs, the runoff areas, everything that allows cars to race safely? Missing or incomplete. But don't take my word for it, just take a look at this video.
The race organizers and Red Bull had a demonstration run a couple of weeks ago using the 2008 Red Bull chassis and the FIA's super-hard demo tires. Surprisingly, Cowboy Karun Chandhok was the driver (the usual RB drivers weren't allowed to run, as it'd be an unfair advantage, I guess). The FIA and Hispania Racing, Chandhok's normal team, let him do it, which is a pretty clear indicator that we won't be seeing him again this year. I can only imagine what he must have felt, actually getting into a real F1 car and being allowed to turn some laps.
Anyway, watching that video just confirmed all my opinions from the track map: it looks like disaster-in-the-making, as far as racing goes. Now driving the circuit looks like it'd be a blast, but that's not the same as racing around it.
It sounds like, in the twisties, he gets about 1 good second of throttle stabbing in before he has to let up before the corner. Now he's obviously not running qualifying laps, but that doesn't look like it will be very fun.
Posted by: Will at September 18, 2010 11:32 PM (5CqDH)
Why do they have the walls so close to the track? I can understand doing that for the pit straight, but here they have walls right next to the track for what looks like half the circuit; the track looks more like a street circuit than a dedicated race track. I hope the walls have some give to them, like the safety walls in NASCAR, and aren't just concrete. Also note there's no place for a car to pull over in the walled-in areas if it has a mechanical failure; they'll need more cranes than Monaco to get busted cars off the track quickly.
What happens if the track isn't ready for the race? Has the FIA ever canceled an F1 race due to an unsafe circuit? This could be a bigger mess than Donington Park, since the race is coming up so soon and AFAIK there's no other suitable track available in Korea, even if they could change venues in short notice. At least when the Donington Park organizers dropped the ball, they could move the British GP back to Silverstone.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at September 19, 2010 08:59 PM (c62wM)
Peter TnsG, a lot of the walls are there specifically to keep out-of-control cars from leaving the course, then returning in a dangerous way. Imagine someone blowing Turn 5, skittering across the grass dirt, then sliding back on track near the exit of Turn 6.
Most of the walls seem to be Armco barriers or something similar. They most assuredly have give, though not enough to allow a car to get through them. The concrete walls are mostly on straights where there is going to be seating or facilities (for example, the second pitlane on the run from Turn 3 to Turn 4; that's becoming more and more common, to accommodate 'support series' races, like GP2, without encroaching on the F1 pits). If you look carefully, each of the concrete sections have openings every so often that'll be faired over. That will allow broken cars to be pushed off the track. While I didn't notice similar gaps in the Armco, I'm sure there'll be something.
None of the walls in F1 are S.A.F.E.R. barriers, though. Europe and F1 tend to use "compression barriers", aka "tire walls", to serve the same purpose.
SAFER barriers are a uniquely American design, used here primarily because of the higher speeds associated with oval racing. Watkins Glen is the only road course in the world with SAFER barriers, and that only because NASCAR runs there, now a requirement for the marque. F1-style road courses just don't see the sort of speeds that a SAFER barrier would substantially help with. They wouldn't hurt to have, and it won't surprise me if the new track in Austin has them, but tire walls do the same thing at lower speeds, and cost a helluva lot less.
As far as Korea goes, the track itself is done. All they'll need to do is put down the curbs and finish the pitlane and they can race there. Of course, there's practically no seating, and the parking lots and access roads and extra buildings aren't anywhere near being done, and I'd bet whatever permanent cabling is needed for a F1 broadcast isn't in place either. In effect, they can run the race, but nobody can see it.
If that's the case come race weekend, I don't know what they'll do. If it gets canceled, there's nothing to be done, no other place to run it. Oh, they could go to the Mt Fuji circuit instead, I suppose, assuming it's not booked already, but that throws in massive headaches of its own, not the least of which is "what do you do with the tickets sold?"
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 19, 2010 10:46 PM (blg68)
The Zsolt Comes For Another
Pedro de la Rosa stood outside the Sauber factory, surrounded by boxes filled with the contents of his desk. He flinched slightly as two burly security guards slammed the gates closed with a massive clang, his mind recoiling from the finality of the sound.
Turning in place, the Spaniard raised a fist in the general direction of Peter Sauber's office, which was actually located somewhere towards the back of the building and thus out of sight from the little show of defiance. "I still intend to be in F1 for the 2011 season, you trumped-up Swiss chocolatier! I'll show you that you just made a terrible mistake, dropping me, Pedro de la Rosa, for that unshaven German Nick Heidfeld!"
From behind him, a quiet voice hissed, "At it again, are you?" A frisson of cold terror ran up his spine. His small lizard hindbrain started to wail in fear, but F1 pilots laugh at fear and danger. It still took a supreme act of will from the recently released driver to turn from the gates. What he saw turned his legs to pudding.
"Hello, Pedro. Long time no see." A small man, dressed in a black firesuit with the word Minardi embroidered across the chest and holding a black race helmet, stood before the recently fired man. "You got away from me once. What did I say to you then, do you remember?"
"That you'd be coming for me again."
"That's right, Pedro. That I'd be coming for you again. And now, there you are. And here I am."
"I'll race in F1 again."
The figure in black laughed, a sound not unlike the gates of Hell opening. "You're 39 years old, de la Rosa, and you haven't had a full year of racing under your belt since 2002. You only got in the points once this year, while your teammate has scored five times. And then there's your role in the whole StepneyGate saga. What team is going to want you as a driver after all that? I hear USF1 is hiring. No, Pete, you're mine now, and you won't get away from me again." The figure in black lifted his helmet to his head, then paused for a second. "If you're lucky though, you might get to run one of those radio-controlled cars you were so good at once." Then the helmet was on, covering the dark face.
Coming from inside the helmet, the voice of the figure in black sounded sepulchral as he moved towards de la Rosa. "Some of us only got one go at F1, and we had to buy our way in. You got a second chance, Pete. You got a second chance after testing for McLaren all those years, and you screwed it up. You screwed up your second chance, and how? By being slow, Petey-boy, by being slow. And you really expect to get a third shot?" The Zsolt pulled on his racing gloves, and from somewhere the theme music from The Exorcist began to quietly play. "Never again, de la Rosa. Never again."
He slammed the visor down with the sound of a thousand garbage trucks falling off a cliff. "I'm am definitely going to enjoy this."
Then the screaming began.
By the time the security guards got to the gate, there was nothing to be seen.
Current Engine Usage
Okay, as of the end of the Italian Grand Prix, here are the number of engines used:
Felipe Massa and HWMNBN:7 Pete Rose: 9 Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov: 5
If a driver isn't one of the above, they've used six of their eight engines so far. Of course, Pete Rose will suffer a 10-spot grid penalty for every race now, for there's no reason for him not to use a new engine every time out.
It is perfectly legal for a driver to use an engine that ran in a prior race. For example, Mark Webber used his Spa engine at Monza. So if the Ferrari boys want save their last fresh engine for Abu Dhabi and put their Monaco powerplant in for Singapore, it's quite legal.
Guess the Renault wins the reliability award for the season.
F1 Update!: Italy 2010
For the tifosi of the team of the Prancing Horse, this was the dream setup. Ferrari on the pole, at their ancestral home of La Pista Magica, with their lead driver in combat for the driver's championship. But would the church bells be ringing in Maranello, or would the dream end up a nightmare of epic proportions? THIS is your F1 Update! for the 2010 Grand Prix of Italy!
*BAD DREAM: When the lights went out to begin the race, the McLaren of Jenson Button lept off the starting line, just slightly faster than the Ferrari of HWMNBN. As the two drivers sprinted down to the ridiculously tight first chicane, the Spaniard tried to intimidate the Brit by sliding down on him. When the defending Driver's Champion didn't budge, it became a simple drag race. The problem arose when it became clear that by dodging across the track, HWMNBN had lost a small amount of forward momentum. It might have been just a handful of feet, but it was enough. As they entered the chicane, the silver McLaren had the advantage, the racing line, and by the end of the chicane, the lead. A small bump from the nose of the Ferrari took off a small piece of the McLaren's rear end, but neither car seemed particularly affected. Just as in Quals, Button's car was substantially faster in the turn-heavy (well, as turn-heavy as any part of Monza can be) second sector of the circuit, while losing time to the Ferrari on the long straights. The upshot of it all was that Button opened up a 6/10th of a second lead over the red car... and there it stayed. It would fluctuate a tenth here or there, but for all intents and purposes neither man could get away from the other.
*NIGHTMARE: Away from the leaders, Hispania's DJ DNF was having communications problems. His radio malfunctioning, on Lap 24 he came into the pits for his tire change and a radio technician practically jumped into the cockpit with him to work on the electronics. The pit stop went cleanly with the new rubber being slapped on smartly, and the lollypop man quickly cleared DJ DNF to pull back into the race. Except there was one problem: the radio tech was still leaning over the cockpit.
(The FIA removed the video after one day)
Very quickly, an ambulance was summoned into the pits, closing access to the pit lane while the race continued on. He was taken to the infield hospital with minor injuries... a case where looks really do deceive because if you base your opinion on the video, the guy is dead. (UPDATE: I included the video here simply because the F1 cameras never showed the incident. If the Legendary Announce Team hadn't have mentioned it, we never would have known.)
*DREAM ON: With the pitlane closed, everybody was forced to keep circulating. Up front, the two leaders may as well have been connected to each other with a bungee cord; the lead would increase, then contract, then boing back up again, but never more than 6/10th of a second. It became obvious that barring incident, the pit crews would decide this race. On Lap 37 Button came in. It took the McLaren mechanics 4.2 seconds to slap on the new tires and get their man back out on track, rejoining the race in third. The next lap, it was the turn of HWMNBN. He was stopped for only 3.6 seconds, the fastest pit stop of the race, and came out of the pits just barely ahead of the silver car. Button tried to get past in the first chicane but couldn't quite pull it off. When Massa came in on Lap 39, HWMNBN took over first place, a position he would never relinquish, eventually winning by a scant 2.9 seconds over Button, with Massa crossing the line just over a second later. One begins to wonder if the small amount of damage that Button suffered in the first chicane back on Lap 1 made any difference to the aerodynamics of the car. It didn't have to be much, just about a tenth of a second total over the first hour or so, for that might have been the difference between the two when HWMNBN came out of the pits.
*MEANWHILE: One Red Bull driver was having a bad day. Mark Webber had another patented Red Bull Lousy Startâ„¢, dropping from 4th on the grid to 9th in a heartbeat. He eventually climbed back up to 6th, but had to be frustrated. Seb Vettel, on the other hand, slogged around and around, driving as hard as he could without doing anything stupid or stunning. Car after car ahead of him pitted while he kept going and going. Eventually, he found himself in 4th place with a nearly 20 second lead over Nico Rosberg's Mercedes... but it was Lap 52 of 54, he hadn't made his mandatory pitstop yet, and the pit "bogey time", or the total time it takes to drive into the pitlane, stop, make the tire change, then get back out onto the track was right about 20 seconds. On Lap 53, he dove in fast, smoking his tires as he slammed on the brakes to make the pit lane speed limit, made his stop and re-entered the track... just ahead of Rosberg. He ended up a surprising 4th in a car that really wasn't that good on this track.
*DRIVER OF THE RACE: For perhaps the first time, this award is going to go to two drivers. Both HWMNBN and Jenson Button drove their hearts out today, getting absolutely the best out of their vehicles. That the two cars were set up to specialize in different parts of the course, yet ended up less than a second apart for the first 40 laps, just highlights the skill both showed. Without a doubt, both deserve the award, and for providing an incredibly tense race both get it.
*TEAM OF THE RACE: Ferrari. First and third on the podium, and the race won by the mechanics? That's a team victory, and there's no way any other team deserves this award more than the boys from Maranello.
*MOVE OF THE RACE: There were surprisingly few passes on track today, so without a doubt this has to go to the Ferrari pitcrew. When McLaren got their man in and out in 4.2 seconds, they knew that they had a chance to decide this one. Everything went like clockwork, and they gained their car about 150 feet of track distance over their competitors. It couldn't have gone better, and made all the difference in the world.
*MOOOOOOO-OOOVE OF THE RACE: While we here at F1U! are not fond of giving the Mooooooo-oove to something that occurs during the chaotic events of any Grand Prix's first lap, we're making an exception today. Lewis Hamilton qualified 5th and jumped to 4th by default when Mark Webber had another in a long line of Red Bull Lousy Startâ„¢s. Heading into the first chicane, the two Ferraris were side-by-side into the narrow first turn, yet Hamilton thought he could get himself some of that action. He got his front wing alongside Felipe Massa's cockpit, and his front-right tire just in front of Massa's left-rear, but only just. When Massa either accelerated slightly, or Hamilton slowed a touch, there was contact; the impact pushed the McLaren's suspension forward. Now, carbon fiber is a ridiculously strong material, but it has an odd property... it's only strong in the direction that it's woven to be strong in, unlike a steel rod which would have the same amount of strength no matter which way forces are applied to it. The result was predictable.
His front suspension broken, the man leading the Driver's Championship was out of the race before he reached the second turn. Now he's behind Mark Webber. A questionable decision to knock yourself out of the championship lead? Good job, Lewis, here's your Moooooooo-oove!
Looking at that first video, my thought was, "You know which guy really has to have balls? The one standing right at the front of the stop box. If the driver fouls up and goes 3 feet too far, that guy ends up crippled."
How's the engine situation? You'd mentioned that a couple teams were already running on engine 7 or 8...
Posted by: Avatar_exADV at September 12, 2010 10:22 PM (mRjOr)
Steven, it happens. Generally though, he's not the one who can get hurt the worst. The guys on the tires, particularly the side closest to the garages, are much more likely to be injured seriously. Unlike the front jack man, they're crouching and have no chance at all to get out of the way. When they're hit, they get knocked over and there's a good chance that a wheel will go over a limb. The front jack man usually goes flying, maybe gets a broken ankle or two, but I haven't seen that happen in a while. A tire guy get hit every few races. When they had refuelling, it could be even worse.
Avatar, Pete Rose used his last engine today. I think everybody else has at least one left. I can't find the current list, but when I do, I'll list it.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 12, 2010 11:34 PM (blg68)
Just got to watch most of the race during lunch. Did I understand the announcers correctly that the teams are now interpretting the team rules ban as "please don't be as obvious as Ferrari and you won't get fined"? And isn't that more-or-less how the rule was treated anyway?
Posted by: Ben at September 14, 2010 11:49 AM (QE3Wj)
Ben, "yes" and "yes." Welcome to F1, where the Sporting Regulations are, in many cases, more like "Sporting Suggestions."
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 14, 2010 11:14 PM (blg68)