October 30, 2019
Not So Little David
One can't help but think that Morty was... um... overcompensating for something.
One of those things that nobody ever thinks about is bomb aerodynamics. I mean regular people, that is. The military, they think about things like that all the time. After all, when you strap something to the bottom of a wing, it's usually a really good idea to make sure it's not going to have the airflow of an apartment building. Also, when you drop something from an airplane, it makes it a lot easier to hit what you're aiming at if you know how the thing is going to "fly". Fall. Plummet. You know what I mean.
But of course, there's a catch: getting the darn thing into the sky in the first place. If it's got more drag than RuPaul on Halloween, strapping it to a wing may not be good for the plane or pilot's long-term survival chances. Putting it in the bomb bay of a larger plane sounds good, until you actually drop it and you haven't the faintest idea what's going to happen next. If it tumbles instantly upon the application of an airflow, it's a bad idea to find that out at altitude after it rips your tail off.
So what's an aerial ordinance designer to do? Well that's just easy as pie: get it into the air without an airplane! Easy! Except we're talking about something 500, 1000, 2000 pounds in weight... you can't just pick it up and throw it like a baseball. Well, I can't, maybe you can. 500lbs is the weight of a 10" naval shell, 2000lbs is closer to a 16" battleship round. So what's a good way to do it?
Meet the Little David, a 36" caliber mortar! Yes, a three FOOT diameter barrel. You put an aerial bomb into a... kind-of sabot thingy... and voop! You've got a way to get an aerial bomb into the air without endangering an aircraft. It didn't have much of a range considering the size involved, less than 10km, and accuracy came down to "over there somewhere", but that's not what the US military was wanting anyway.
Until people began to realize that that the Japanese were turning the home islands into a fortress, and then they began to look at the Little David as a bunker buster of extreme proportions. The Powers That Be developed a 36" shell, weighing over 3600 pounds, for the mortar. Problem was that neither the accuracy nor the range was ever improved, and it was never what you could call "portable." See that wall the guy is standing in front of? That's a concrete and steel base that had to be buried for stability purposes that the mortar itself would be placed into... the FORTY TON mortar and the FORTY-SIX TON base.
Of course the invasion of Japan never occurred, and people quietly retired Little David as a weapon. Only one of the six built exists today, and it's on display at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland.
October 21, 2019
Akagi Found! As I semi-postulated would occur in the Kaga post, Paul Allen's team has now found what they are pretty sure to be the Akagi.
Guess the report on them having another ship's location was right! All of this was breaking just shortly before I'm typing this, so we don't have much information yet, and the RV Petrel apparently either hasn't been down yet or they haven't released any footage. Still, we can tell a lot from these sonar images. Like Kaga, Akagi is sitting upright, and it sure looks like she hit with not too much horizontal motion. I'm hardly an expert on that sort of stuff, so take it with a grain of salt.
I'm pretty sure the bow is to the left in both images. If she landed stern-first, that might explain the "arrow-head" shape... the impact could have compressed the stern maybe? Of course, the flight deck is gone, though I wonder if the Akagi's massive underdeck supports might still be there? In any case, this is just as exciting as the Kaga finding, and for similar reasons. Hopefully we'll get to see more as the day goes on!
edit: forgot to mention... according to a comment I saw from Jon Parshall over at the Petrel's facebook page, the Nauticos company did not share the location of the chunk of Kaga's hull with Paul Allen's team... they found the ship on their own, making all this even more incredible.
October 18, 2019
Kaga Found! The late Paul Allen's team has done it one more time... and this time, they did something I thought would never happen.
They found the Kaga.
In this sonar image, the stern is in the lower-right corner. The Kaga's flight deck is gone, which comes as no surprise whatsoever. Of the four Japanese carriers sunk at Midway, Kaga was the one that suffered the most grievous and swift fire damage. Nearly all of her hangar deck personnel (aircraft mechanics and armorers) were killed by the fires caused when a 1000lb bomb punched through her flight deck to explode among fully fueled and mostly armed aircraft. That particular explosion also ruptured her avgas lines, knocked out the generators powering the water pumps, damaged the fire mains, and destroyed a one-shot carbon-dioxide fire smothering device.
The ship is upright in the sea floor, though she's quite deep in the mud and silt. Information is still sparse... the announcement was only made about five hours ago as I write this... but from what I've managed to piece together, they should still be able to locate where the Nauticos chunk would fit on the hull.
Undoubtedly the Nauticos find is what allowed Paul Allen's group to narrow down the search area. There's only a finite amount of distance the burning ship could have moved before she was scuttled, and the Nauticos report linked above gives a presumed maximum of about five hours, 30 minutes from the time the chunk was blown free to the time of scuttling. So knowing the ship went roughly thataway for up to 5h30m gives you a search area. Then it's just the tedious job of combing the ocean floor with sonar and ROV until you find something.
Like a piece of hull with a gun turret on the side. Oh, and speaking of finding something... one report I saw said they have a strong possibility for another ship location. Could we have an Akagi or Soryu next? Hiryu is probably quite a distance away from the others... if any of them is going to stay missing now, I'm guessing its her.
Holy crap, folks... I'm actually giddy about this. Seriously: what a find! Naval historians everywhere owe the late Paul Allen a debt of gratitude... pour a YooHoo out for your homie tonight!
October 12, 2019
Well I Dunno. Don't have a whole lot to say these days. Still unemployed, still secluded, still... I dunno.
Here's a cleverly edited AMV:
Remember when I used to post five times a week? Good times, good times.
October 05, 2019
Python 50 Today is the 50th anniversary of the first episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
I don't believe there's been ANYthing that's been more influential in my sense of humor, and possibly my entire life, than Python. At the age of nine, every Sunday night at 930pm you could find me camped out in front of the television at the Old Home Pond. Then, after staring at a blank screen for a while, I'd actually turn it on.
What came forth from that box would change me forever. I knew types of cheeses that didn't exist yet. I learned that hedgehogs hated gangsters. I learned that penguins were electric and had long stinging tentacles. Musical instruments played by whacking mice with hammers. I learned what a fjord was, and that certain types of parrots pined for them. I learned what a twit was.
As it turned out, very little of this would help me in the formal sense. I knew the winners of the 1949 FA Cup but I couldn't do math.
Despite this, there's no question that my life, and that of countless others, has been...
...improved by Monty Python being in it. It's a debt I can never repay, nor would I want to... who has that much gouda?
September 28, 2019
"...And I Shall Call Her Mini-Me."
Two from the Haruhi Collection, which are legion.
September 24, 2019
Spot Spot Spotted. "Part of me wishes they'd hurry up with the post-human cyborg/digital consciousness transfer technology..."
-Karel P Greyduck
Apparently Boston Dynamics reads The Pond.
I don't have a use for one... I mean, besides the obvious take over the world scenarios, or rubber duck mobility device scenarios... but it's still very cool.
And remember, these are the same people who made Spot dance a year ago.
Won't anybody consider robot rights? "Dance for the camera, Spot, dance like your electronic life depends on it" is just a terrible image.
September 23, 2019
At Least I Was Comfortable After going to bed at a less-than-sane time Saturday night, I woke up on Sunday with a problem. I was ill.
The headache wasn't terrible, but the fever was. Not that it was all that high, but because it existed at all. AND WOULDN'T GO AWAY. I woke up, I used the loo, I went back to sleep. Repeat every few hours. Next thing I knew, it was 530pm, the sun was basically down. I got some food, sent a few texts and once again, the next thing I knew it was 830pm and I was heading back to bed. There was a lot of "next thing I knew" going on, lemme tell ya.
Midnight Sunday night/Monday morning found me here. And now I'm going to go back to sleep. Because I still feel like cacapoopoo. I no longer know if I have a fever, and I don't care. I want to wake up in the morning feeling like I'm vaguely human again.
Until then, I shall sleep.
September 20, 2019
It's Been 10 Years.
They say time heals all wounds. I just wish it didn't have to. Still miss you, Momzerduck.
September 18, 2019
Ducks In Anime: Forgot About This One!
-Shokugeki no Soma S2 OVA
While casually searching through one or another of my "screenshots I may use someday" folders, which are filled to the digital brim with reaction shots or interesting things... trains, scenery porn, that sort of stuff... I discovered a Ducks In Anime picture I didn't recognize! Understand, this is practically unfathomable to me... I can tell at a glance if I have used an anime duckie in a D.I.A. post, and I know this one has never been. PARTICULARLY since it's Megumi, who would rank rather high on my list of favorite characters of late. She's interesting, which is more than I can say about the main for this particular show.
What really (note: not really) terrifies me is that I don't remember watching this particular episode/OVA/whatever. Indeed, I just yarrrred it and watched and I'm almost positive I haven't seen it before. So how did the first picture in this post wind up in possession? I don't know, it will forever be a mystery to me. But hey, more Ducks In Anime, amirite?
September 11, 2019
Look! A Spot Of Commonplace Activity In My Otherwise Humdrum Life Stealing a page from my good buddy Brickmuppet, I am warning you in advance about the contents of this post. If you are not interested in listening to bloviate about mundane achievements, then please watch this wonderful AMV that has altogether too few views on yootoob (less than 1200 at the moment of posting).
If that is enough for you, then I thank you for your time and have a lovely day. Otherwise, press onward (or "more") to continue.more...
September 05, 2019
Ducks In Anime: Yes I Saw It It started simply enough... an e-mail saying "Watch DanMachi2 Ep 05." Then a text message. Then a comment here on The Pond. Then another text message. Then a post over at R's place. Then another e-mail. And what heralded all this fooferraw?
-Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Daro ka S02, Ep05
First, it was a duckie. A very nice duckie to be sure, don't get me wrong, but a single duckie. At which point, the producktion staff realized that while a single duckie is nice, many duckies are better. Much better. Much much better.
Even I had to admit, that was a lot of duckies... and they almost literally appeared out of nowhere. First one duckie, then many duckies flowed their way into the bath like they had been there all the time... which they hadn't, as an earlier establishing shot confirms.
So where did all of these rubber duckies come from? Particularly considering this is a fantasy world of swords and magic and Hephaestus isn't a lame, misshapen, ugly man but a eye-wateringly hot redhead with an eyepatch... rubber duckies should, sadly, not be a thing. But yet, there they are!
I am hardly one to complain about rubber duckies in anime. Heavens no! I don't even care about internal consistency when it comes to their appearance in a series... the more duckies the better, is what I say. Particularly when we all really know why they're here...
Yep. That's why. They're just doing their job.
August 31, 2019
Anthoine Hubert 1996 - 2019 While I may not be writing about Formula 1 these days, I'm still following the goings-on in and around the sport. Heck, I'm even still watching the races though without the usual fervor. Which is why I winced when I checked my phone just a short time ago and saw that today's F2 race at Spa-Francopants had been red-flagged, then cancelled altogether, following a "horrific" crash at Eau Rouge/Radillion. I winced even harder when I finished up my morning shower, sat in front of my computer, and discovered that in the intervening time the FIA had released a statement on the incident. A driver had been killed.
Video of the accident can be seen here if you want to see it. Reports say that the driver in front of him, Giuliano Alesi, wrecked which wound up involving Hubert. His car hit the tire barrier at the exit of Radillion, site of many accidents in the past, rebounded back onto the track, where he was then hit by the car driven by Juan-Manuel Correa. The t-bone accident split Hubert's car, tearing off everything behind the cockpit, and sent Correa skidding down the track upside down. All three drivers were taken to the infield care center. Alesi was treated and released with only bumps and bruises. Correa has been transported to a hospital in Liege, and at last report is in stable condition. Hubert was declared dead at the care center.
I did not know much about Anthoine Hubert before right now. I knew he was in F2, and I must have seen him on track a couple of times as I've watched a few streamed F2 races this season. He was reigning world F3 champion, which means he likely had a good chance at reaching Formula 1 eventually. As can be seen in the photo above, he had a relationship with Renault Sport as a member of their young driver program.
F2, which races twice per weekend, has already cancelled Sunday's sprint race. Formula 1 has already said that they'll race as scheduled. No information yet about what sort of tributes will be held. It's interesting to note that this is supposedly the first driver death at a circuit in F2 or F1 since That Horrible Weekend when Ratzenberger and Senna were both killed... or at least that's what SKY is reporting. F1 polesitter Charles LeClerc posted this photo of the two of them just a short time ago, I can't imagine what's going through LeClerc's mind right now, and I only just discovered that Jules Bianchi was his godfather.
More as information warrants. Condolences from The Pond to all families, fans and friends of Hubert.
Edit: Here's a breakdown of what happened in the crash. Includes a new camera angle.
Juan Manuel Correa suffered fractures to both legs and a "minor spinal injury." He underwent surgery and as of reports released at 7pm Pond Central Time is in Intensive Care. He was incredibly lucky, as the breakdown above shows his feet were exposed. It takes a lot of impact to do that, essentially tearing the front of the safety cell off. This could have been a double fatality easily enough.
Edit 2: clear video appeared overnight. Spans from before Alesi's accident to seeing trailing cars slam on their brakes to avoid plowing into the shattered remains of Hubert and Correa's cars. I think I'm done watching these.
August 26, 2019
Seen In Hong Kong
I want nothing more than to make a joke like "the protesters can't lose, they've got the rubber ducks", but the situation is on too much of a knife's edge. Not that I'm any expert on China internal politics... in fact, those rubber ducks up there know more about it than me... but I'm of the opinion that a Tienanmen event is only being held at bay by the impossibility of keeping it from foreign eyes.
If ducks help, nothing could be better.
August 23, 2019
Yee-Haw. So I'm browsing around Reddit one day this week and I stumble upon a charming little story about a 90-something-year-old WWII veteran that approached a bunch of musicians performing at a festival to request a song. I don't remember the name of the tune, but it was what the dockside band was playing when the vet's troop transport pulled away to head into the Pacific War.
Well, that's cool, I thought, and got into the comments section. The guy who posted the thing original was a member of a group called "Shoot Low Sheriff", which made me laugh because I knew the rest of that sentence is "... they're ridin' shetlands!" What really made me arch an eyebrow was that the band plays "Western Swing."
Now it's no secret to anybody who's read The Pond for a while that I do like me some big band / swing music. I'm still enjoying the electroswing movement, for example, and one of my favorite Joe Jackson albums is "Jumpin' Jive". But "I've never heard of no Western Swing before, wonder what it sounds like" is what I thought to myself, so I looked them up.
Well, I'll be.
That's kinda darn fun right there! I bought both of their albums from Amazon, and they're a blast to listen to. Obviously if you don't like Western music, you're probably not going to like this... and I understand that. If you don't like swing music, you're probably not going to like this... and while I don't understand that, people are different. Even if you're wrong.
They get a Wonderduck two wingtips up! Enjoy, won't you?
August 20, 2019
HE DID IT!!! Everybody, head over to Brickmuppet's place... Old Dominion University FINALLY ran out of hoops to make him jump through.
Do you know what this means?
There have been times during his 30-year odyssey that it's seemed like they've been inventing reasons he couldn't be given his degree, but finally... FINALLY... they ran out of stupid excuses.
Congratulations, Brickmuppet! You persevered in the face of abject stupidity to get that which you've so desperately wanted for so long... which kinda feels like a metaphor for life in these here times.
August 19, 2019
The Kraken Is Displeased I had something else in mind for a post today, but then I saw this:
...and suddenly I changed my mind. If the video continues to not work, click right here!
I quite enjoyed my time in the original Kerbal Space Program, but it was created by people who didn't actually know how to code. As a result, its an big unoptimized mess of spaghetticode that nobody currently working on the game knows... partly because most of the people who did the original are no longer part of Squad due to some very unfortunate circumstances. Every patch and every update made the mess just that much larger, reportedly causing new bugs every time old ones were repaired.
KSP 2 is being rewritten from the ground up by professional game developers. This can be both a blessing and a curse, of course. Part of the thing that made original KSP great was the passion the creators had for it... they liked blowing up their LGMs as much as the fans did. The new people involved won't have that same "spark", so to speak, but... well, y'know. I'm looking forward to seeing a LOT more.
Oh, and unless I miss my guess, at both the 1:32 and the 1:42 timemarks, we get to see friggin' ORIONS. Finally I get to build me a Michael of my very own!!! Bring on the Fthtp!
Lastly, at the very end, there's a "thank you" message to someone named Shaun Esau with the hashtag "Build Fly Dream". Here's what that refers to:
A lot of the beats from this video, one of the best "fan trailers" for the game out there, get repeated in the new trailer. It's a nice touch, one that shows that at least the new marketing department "gets it."
August 11, 2019
I'm Sorry. I'm So So Sorry.
I know, I know. It just made me laugh very, very hard. Yes, that beat is from "Gentleman" by Psy.
So did this, but for completely different reasons.
August 09, 2019
Automated Night "Rail" The Yurikamome Line from Shimbashi to Toyosu isn't technically a rail line since... well... no rails! It's rolling stock is all rubber-tired people movers running on concrete "tracks". And it's 100% automated, all computer-controlled.
No real reason to post this, honestly. It's just pretty watching the lights and sites of Tokyo, Odaiba, and oh, Tokyo Big Sight is the 11th stop. And it almost makes me feel like I'm a functioning human being. Duck. Whatever.
Enjoy, won't you?
August 05, 2019
Random Anime Picture #148: Get Out Of My Head This past winter season, there was a series called Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War. The basic plot sounded interesting: two brilliant people at an elite high school are too proud to confess their love to each other, so they engage in an unannounced "intellectual" duel to get the other to do it first. These two are surrounded by other characters, of course, and yadda yadda yadda hijinks occur. So, I recently decided to take a stab at it.
See what I did there?
To be frank, the two main characters are exactly the sort of people in anime I detest... self-absorbed, unlikable, and completely out of touch with reality, with a massive side order of arrogance. It wasn't until the final vignette of Ep03 that either showed some signs of humanity. In it, Kaguya, the female protagonist, walks to school for the first time in her life (elite school, remember? Her family is stupidly rich) and ends up escorting a 4th grader who is walking alone and scared. Despite all that, it's visually quite a striking show, and I can't help but admit to getting some self-loathing enjoyment... self-loathing in that I am kinda disgusted that I find such people entertaining in some way. The visuals for the OP are quite good, and the song sounds like something Tom Jones would have had a field day with. The ED, on the other hand, is 100% pedestrian.
Except for the Bleriot XI. And the zeppelin. Pedestrian except for those.
Until the aforementioned Ep03 rolled around. The ending for Ep03 dropped this in our laps:
...and I can't get it out of my head. I wake up in the morning, and there it is... "Chika, Chika, Chika-chi-kaaaa!" I go to bed at night, and there it is... "Suki suki doki doki!" It's amazing just how earwormy it is, how stuck in my brain it's become, and my only hope is that by infecting you with it, the music gods will take pity on me.
Sorry about that.
105kb generated in CPU 0.11, elapsed 0.3115 seconds.
63 queries taking 0.2234 seconds, 368 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.
63 queries taking 0.2234 seconds, 368 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.