Friday Linkzookery – 08 Feb 2008

Mullen: Army must return to 12-month tours
I think almost everyone would like to see the cut back to 12-month deployments, but I think reducing the use of National Guard troops should come first.

Coalition, Mahdi Army clash over cease-fire
Uneasy truce. Barely. For now. Maybe.

Judge: Bush Cannot Exempt Navy, Allow Use Of Sonar
ASW training off again.

S.O.G. Tactical Assault Rifle
Pics from the SHOT Show.

Bush Plan Allots No Money For GE Engine
The second engine for the F-35 has been on again/off again for years.

Gates Raises Other Options to Afghanistan Troop Deployment
“If somebody can’t send combat soldiers in certain areas because of the politics at home then perhaps they could pay for helicopters or provide helicopters,” said Gates.

Shift in Tactics Aims to Revive Struggling Insurgency
Al-Qaeda in Iraq Hopes A Softer Approach Will Win Back Anbar Sunnis

We need to show staying power to get trust. When we get enough trust, we win.

Carnival of Homeschooling – Acrostic Edition
Lots of links at Beverly’s Homeschooling Blog.

Analytics According to Captain Kirk
Statistically analyzing the fatality rate of the red shirts in classic Star Trek. (Hint: It’s bad.)

NASA Launches Atlantis
Carrying the Columbus space lab.

Progress M-63 Docks With ISS
The Soyuz/Progress program has been astoundingly successful for decades.

A new service for screenwriters. I haven’t tried it out yet. Send me big bucks and I’ll write you a screenplay.

Digital crisis: Motion pictures may fade to black
Archiving films, which is something I’ve been interested in for a while. I had no idea how much more expensive it is to do it digitally. That doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

Bill would prohibit gun confiscation in Wyoming
There has been a lot of push for this since the Great New Orleans Gun Grab.


  1. Oh man! The Capt. Kirk/red shirt statistical analysis was hysterical! Not that any of us really needed it to know to crack for ‘any’ SFOS (Star Fleet Occupational Specialty)’other’ than security when we enlist in Star Fleet. Other potential factors in SF SecPers deaths are Star Fleet (or perhaps just Capt. K) not properly employing their SecPers (thereby increasing their casualty rate), or SecPers are not trained to a very high standard (incompetency=violent early retirement), SecPers are not properly equipped for high threat environments/scenarios (just how phaser/disrupter tolerant do you think those thin red shirts are dude!? Get some body armor!), or many aliens just don’t like the color red (causing excessive targeting of red objects). I’m sure you can think of a few of your own! LOL!

  2. Celtx has actually been around for two or three years, though it has been improved vastly since the first few iterations. It’s much more than a screenwriting app, it’s geared toward all kinds of preproduction planning. Even just as a screenwriting app, though, it beats the living heck out of shelling out $200-$300 for the same functionality elsewhere (Final Draft or Movie Magic Screenwriter). OK, I’ll shaddap now. 🙂

  3. Straight up: we can’t stop using the guard. The Regular Army flat out just isn’t big enough. The Regular Army is already looking at a ratio of deployed/nondeployed time of 1/.9, and that’s with the Guard doing as much as they are. We actually had a class on this a couple of weeks ago. Current overseas requirements, including Korea, Kosovo (hey NATO, can you at least take that one?) the MNFO guys in Sinai, and I’m sure some others, plus Iraq and Afghanistan, totals 23 combat BCTs. (This doesn’t include the Marines-this is just what the Army is required to provide.) When the currently planned expansion is complete (which is isn’t yet), the active Army will have a total of 48 combat BCTs. The goal is to have deployed:home times of 1:2 for the active force and 1:6 for the reserve component (NG and reserves). Without sizeable drawdowns, we still won’t be able to do that. Oh, and we’re supposed to be able to fight a ‘swift defeat’ campaign at the same time we conduct these extended stability ops, too. So says the National Defense Strategy.

  4. Flanker – You are reading the data but missing an incredible truth. The starfleet recruiters for the red shirt MOS, must be incredibly well skilled.(either that or alien mind control..) I wonder what kind of benefit packages are offered? Is a red shirt allowed to retire if they survive 5 years? Final thought – It would be interesting to see the m/f sex ratio of the red shirts.

  5. Ian Hamet: The Celtx package looks good and I’m going to give it shot soon. In my past life as a failed screenwriter I used Sophocles, which ran $120, I think, and I liked it. James: I suspect that Capt. Kirk, err, interviews new female red shirts when they arrive on the Enterprise. Those that, umm, qualify are transferred to the yeoman department (still wearing red, but now with the miniskirt uniform option). Come on. We all know that Janice Rand can’t type, operate a telephone, keep books, or make coffee. She’s straight out of security.

  6. Hmm, seems like I said once before that the attempt to get rid of the GE engine is a thinly veiled attempt to get rid of the VTOL version of the F-35. In light of that, here’s some new information:

    The [cracked blade] first turned up in engine tests last summer. Pratt & Whitney began studying the issue, believed to involve unforeseen stress on the turbine compressor blades. The blades have been redesigned, and new ones will be delivered this summer. In the meantime, Pratt & Whitney devised a series of tests to try and predict when the problem might reoccur and was confident with the results until Monday when the engine was disassembled and inspected. ‘It’s not a new issue. It’s disappointing we didn’t notice it until the part cracked,’ said Bill Gostic, the Pratt & Whitney executive running the engine program. Why it’s important If a turbine blade were to fail in flight, it could destroy the engine and lead to a crash Gostic said engineers believe that they understand the problem and that it is confined to engines for the F-35B, the short-takeoff/vertical-landing version. – Star Telegram