Friday Linkzookery – 11 April 2008

Boeing: AF Had Worries About EADS Boom
Air Force worries about the risk associated with EADS’ boom performance, however, weren’t included in the final assessment of scoring for the team.

Helicopter retires after service in Vietnam, Iraq
MH-53 Pave Low helped lead attempt to rescue approximately 50 American prisoners of war from the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam in 1970.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ faces future online
Though this is an inevitable (and sorta cool) move, nothing beats paper, dice and face to face gaming.

[Royal] Marine threw himself onto grenade
I had seen this headline about Lance Corporal Matt Croucher being nominated for the Victoria Cross, but I hadn’t realized THAT THE GUY LIVED. We don’t often see the highest honors awarded other than posthumously lately, it seems. This is great.

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights

James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights by Richard Labunski
Listening to this on audiobook right now. Pretty good.

Obama supporter Oprah takes a big dive
82 percent of respondents claimed Oprah’s endorsement would make no difference in their vote, while 8 percent said it would make them more likely to vote for Obama and 10 percent indicated it would make them less likely to do so.

Back From The Dead
Torpedoes at Strategy Page.

College student motors around town in homemade tank
Panzer parking. Violators will be totaled.

B-1B readiness drops 4 years in a row
Even before the B-1B Lancer caught fire Friday after landing in the Middle East, statistics were showing that the heavy bomber of choice for missions in Iraq and Afghanistan has experienced a steady decline in mission-capable and availability rates since 2003.

Tank builder finds himself focus of fame
There was frost in the ground when the tigers broke free.

Media Reaction to New Housework Study Minimizes Men’s Work, Sacrifice for Their Families

But it’s expected.

Cosmetic surgery business sags as purse strings tighten [NOT SATIRE]
The sub-prime loan crisis, the housing slump and the general decline of the economy have claimed another covey of victims. Anthony is in the real estate business, and under current conditions, the cosmetic treatments — at $1,800 or more a pop — can no longer be squeezed into her budget.

NYC Cabbie Who Runs Anti-American Islamic Web Site Mocks GI Deaths, Calls for Shia Law In U.S.
It takes a village.

The Star Destroyer Project
Stand by, Ion Control…


  1. MH-53 Pave Low helped rescue approximately 50 American prisoners of war from the Son Tay prison camp in North Vietnam in 1970.’ Unfortunately, no. There were no prisoners found at Son Tay, although IIRC they missed them by a matter of days. The linked story is clear on this point. Amazing that an airframe that old was still operational. As my father, who worked at Sikorsky, used to say, ‘A helicopter is a machine which spends its life beating itself to death.’ I got the impression it was a common saying around the plant.

  2. Dear Murdoc, I’ve been trying to leave some ‘enlightening’ comments recently, but I can’t seem to navigate through the sign-in process of your comment’s procedure. Regards, Toejam

  3. There is a lot more engineering that goes into the design of a boom than meets the eye. Airplanes are big, but fragile. You can easily poke a boom through a receiving airplane skin if the boom is not designed just right. For example, you can’t just pressurize the whole boom with fuel. If you did, the inner part would extend out like a hydraulic actuator rod until it bottomed out. Also the coupling mechanism has to engage and disengage within a precise set of forces. Also, the Airbus tanker uses the FRL hose and drogue pods. FRL, from my experience, is a pack of morons. They’ve got a crappy pod that barely works, and probably won’t work on the A330. They will fail miserably when they attempt to modify their crappy pod to work with that crappy airplane. Don’t worry, though, your tax dollars will go to fund their incompetent attempts for as long as it takes. Even though the same company now owns FRL and Sergeant Fletcher, they won’t get Sergeant Fletcher involved when they can milk the US taxpayer for years trying to make that POS FRL pod do the job. I suppose if this selection does not get over turned, I’ll have the satisfaction of being able to sit back and say, ‘I told you so’. It will be a pyrrhic victory to be sure.

  4. I think the author of that article on torpedoes is missing out on most of the real work that’s being done, which is the work that’s being done on supercavitating torpedoes. The supercavitating versions don’t need to be rocket powered. They can be powered by a water jet, just like a jet ski. At the speeds they travel, turning is not a big issue. They are stealthy, fast, and very difficult to defend against. One thing I fear is that our Navy is not investing enough in supercavitating technology because of the threat it poses to their supercarriers. I think they’d rather pretend the technology doesn’t exist than acknowledge its threat to their big money pits. It is unfortunate that no such bureacracy exists to impede progress in countries without carriers. I fear it is like Doolittle’s anti-ship bomber technology without the likes of Doolittle as an advocate.