Sarah Palin knows how old the Chinese gymnasts are.

calendar   Saturday - March 17, 2012

On-the-job Sexual Harassment

This is a true story.

1979. I was home from my freshman year at college. Working again at the Pizza Hut in ******** I’d helped open the year before. The manager then was Steve. Now it was Rose.

Showed up for work: knocked on the back door:

“You got eight inches?” I heard Rose, my current boss ask.

Not sure I’d heard her correctly, I asked her to repeat: Sure enough!

“You got eight inches?”

My reply: “Rose, I’m damned if I’m gonna cut off two inches just to satisfy you.”

She let me in!


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 03/17/2012 at 09:50 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorPersonal •  
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A Lovely Toy

Brand New 1937 Brit Sports Tourer Soon For Sale


With more than just a gentle nod to Atalanta’s heritage, it is the objective of this venture to bring this most innovative pre-war sports car concept up-to-date, by acknowledging 72 years of automotive evolution, yet remaining true in spirit and sympathetic to the style and function of the original Atalanta sports car designs.

A traditionally coach-built pre-production prototype is currently being developed that remains true to original Atalanta design principles of ‘Innovation, Style and Performance’ and it is scheduled to be unveiled Spring 2012, 75 years after the first Atalanta car was announced.

75 years after its demise, the Atlanta car company is back up and running, and bringing their modern incarnation of their 1937 Sports Tourer to market. Completely bespoke as the English say, it will have a hand crafted aluminum body over an ash wood frame. Modern upgrades like a reliable high output small engine, a 5 speed overdrive manual transmission, high performance disc brakes and a few safety features lacking on the original - like brake lights - sum up the modernization. Just about everything else is as close to the original as possible.

Just revived from a 75-year slumber last fall, Britain’s Atalanta sports car brand has now launched its first new car—except it’s a 75-year-old design.

Called the Atalanta Sports Tourer, the car was first shown to the public on March 5, 1937. But despite its aged design, the modern Sports Tourer has been modernized--a bit.

While the car keeps its tall, narrow tires for ride comfort and driver feel, says Atalanta, the majority of the components that make up the car are new, with 85 percent being unique to the Atalanta. It’s not clear which components are shared, or what they’re shared with.

The body itself is still hand-formed aluminum over an ash (wood) coach-built frame.

Underneath, the steering, suspension, and critical castings are modern evolutions of the original bits. The chassis is aluminum, and, according to Atalanta Motors, the whole car weighs around 1600 pounds. It rides on a fully independent suspension supported by driver-adjustable dampers at all four corners. Interestingly, the first Sports Tourer also had an all-independent suspension and was available with adjustable dampers dubbed “Telecontrol”; the name carries over to the modern car’s system. Four-wheel disc brakes with four-pot calipers front and rear are fitted to the new Sports Tourer, replacing the original’s drum brakes.

While the originals came with your choice of a normally aspirated or a supercharged engine in either 1.5L or 2L size, topping out at about 100hp, the new one will most likely be powered by Ford’s 2.5L 4 banger, making 185hp. Which means this little buggy will have plenty of zip.

In its two-year run, Atalanta managed to produce some truly cutting-edge cars, equipped with such modern advances as fully independent coil spring suspensions, adjustable dampers, hydraulic brakes, a semi-automatic gearbox and a twin-spark cylinder head.

A 1939 review of the Atalanta proclaimed the car was “beyond criticism,” and that “the Atalanta has the tenacious quality of a racing car when cornering.” It was good enough for the factory to take home the team prize in the 1939 Welsh Rally, which would prove to be the brand’s most significant racing achievement before the war halted production.

The original Atalanta Motors company launched in 1935, but the dawn of World War II scuttled production nearly four years later. When the company shuttered its doors in 1939, it had only built 21 cars in total. Today, fewer than half survive, and fewer yet are actually functional.
“Our aim is to reproduce the positive, enjoyable characteristics of vintage motoring in a reliable and usable manner that is relevant to today’s driving environment,” says company co-founder Martyn Corfield. “Atlanta is about style, innovation, and performance.”


click here for a really large version of this picture. Car porn alert!!

All this can be yours for around £100,000 ... about $158,000. Nice toys for rich boys.


Car ad from back in the day. Note the absence of taillights.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/17/2012 at 03:30 PM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Circular Linkage and Brittania Rules

If I link to him, and he links to me, does that set up an infinite loop that fractures the time/space continuumuumumm and flushes the intertubes? I’ll just have to risk it.

Yay Me, I got linked from Summer Patriot, Winter Soldier. When I spoke the other day about playing guns online, this is what I was talking about. John Jay over there is bringing the .280/30 back to life, or a close approximation of it, and it looks like he’s actually going to build the thing. And it’s awesome that I was able to help by running a bunch of calculations for him to help prove his idea had merit.

The .280 British, and it’s slightly later and larger variant the .280/30, were both early assault rifle cartridges that predated the 7.62x51 NATO (aka the .308 Winchester). In the post-WWII world the Brits were miles ahead of the Americans in prophesying the battlefield of the future, and developed a great mid-powered cartridge and an amazing little “bullpup” rifle to use it. Unfortunately they were under the thumb of the Americans at that point, who were - as usual - behind the times and wouldn’t budge for any cartridge less potent than the .30-06. So the .280 British never got off the ground, and the 7.62 NATO came about, and it turned out to be way too much gun for full-auto, and then a little more than a decade later the Yanks did an about face and signed on for the 5.56 poodle shooter. And history bears out my “as usual”: the US military was one of the last to switch from flintlocks to percussion fired guns, was one of the last to adopt a metallic cartridge firearm (Springfield 1873 “trapdoor” in .45-70), was one of the last to go to a repeating rifle (the Krag), was one of the last to get on the spitzer bullet bandwagon, etc, ... but somehow was one of the first to adopt a semi-automatic battle rifle, the M1 Garand. Although it’s debatable whether the 8mm Mauser or the .30-06 was the better cartridge, both were far more than what was called for after 1945. So the 7.62 NATO was adopted, and it matched the .30-06 in terms of military performance, but did it with a cartridge 1/2” shorter and somewhat lighter. But the .280 British was nearly as potent, was 3/4” shorter and even lighter, and would have made a tremendous intermediate range combat cartridge, solidly effective to 600 meters. Too bad that politics killed it. It took the Americans almost 50 years before they came back around to the idea of light, short rifles of intermediate power (FN SCAR) and we still may not be there yet.

Here’s a link John sent to a great old newsreel clip now on video. Look how little recoil the .280 generates in that backwards built bullpup gun. Fantastic.

And I’d rather just ignore the fact that all of these rounds were reinventing the wheel to a great extent, and any number of shorter cartridges of somewhat smaller calibers and somewhat shorter lengths had all be around since about 1905 or thereabouts. Truly, there is very little new in the gun world. Most of it has been kicking around for more than 100 years now. Almost all the advances since then have been in metallurgy and propellants, although we’ve come up with some new ideas about case taper, shoulder angle, and neck length that have all aided accuracy.

So hats off to the “.280 JJ” or whatever Mr. Jay calls his creation once he makes it work. He’s not looking to get any government to adopt it, but it ought to make a dandy deer hunter for moderate distances. And it might just fit into the AR platform, just to smack the hoplophobic argument that “black rifles are only for war, not for hunting” as it so richly deserves. Awesome.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/17/2012 at 02:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Friday - March 16, 2012

whatever it takes

Once upon a time I would have categorized this under Eye Candy. These days it’s just Hollywood. But I always like it when people get back to their roots.

March 6th:

March 8th:

Fresh off her Saturday Night Live hosting gig, the actress, 25, showed off her new dye job in Beverly Hills, California Thursday. Though she’s been blonde for years, Lohan has finally returned to her natural red hue.

Whatever it takes. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 11:28 PM   
Filed Under: • HollywoodHumor •  
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yeah, there’s that

Drill Here, Pump Here, Spend Here

Smith School of Business professor Peter Morici hits the nail on the head with his essay on high gas prices and the search for oil. And blames the whole damn mess on Obama and his running dog Chu. Their failed policies. Not Bush’s or anyone else’s. Theirs.

Gasoline prices are zooming past $4 a gallon and the United States is hardly freer from the grip of imported oil or closer to robust economic recovery. With his approval ratings dropping precipitously, U.S. President Barack Obama is blaming speculators and investigating fraud and at the pump when this mess is the direct result of failed federal energy policies.

By word and deed, the Obama administration has sought to limit off-shore oil exploration and development and hasten the commercial viability of solar, wind and alternative vehicle technologies.

The annual trade deficit on petroleum is about $300 billion. Raising U.S. oil production to its sustainable potential of 10 million barrels a day would cut import costs in half, directly create 1.5 million jobs. Applying Obama administration models for assessing the consequences of stimulus spending, it would indirectly create another 1 million jobs.

Overall, attaining U.S. oil production potential would boost gross domestic product about $250 billion. Not bad, considering that it could be accomplished by reducing dependence on foreign oil, increasing federal royalty and tax revenues and cutting the federal deficit.

If there was no other reason to increase domestic oil supply and refinery capacity, this alone is more than sufficient. Keep the money in the USA and it builds jobs. Send the money to sandland and it funds terrorists. Good enough for me.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 02:01 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsOil, Alternative Energy, and Gas Prices •  
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Roussses and Rudmates

Hermosas pelirrojas. Frimousses rousses. Rudmates. Pick your language, it all means the same thing.

Caitlin Randolph by Lauren Randolph

Kristen Rautenbach by EMPhotography

Barbara Meier, 2007 winner Germany’s Next Top Model


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 12:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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If You Lead, They Will Follow. Or Not.

With Peiper still away from the keyboard, taking care of the important things in life, Drew steps in to see what’s what over in England. And probably gets it all wrong, as we Yanks so often do.

UK: Archbishop of Canterbury to Step Down

Discord in the pews over gay priests, women bishops, and reunification with the Roman Catholic Church??

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has announced he is to step down after ten years as he admitted that the row over homosexuality in the Church has been a “major nuisance”.

Dr Williams, 61, will leave at the end of December to take up a new role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January. The Queen, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, has been informed.

His reign has been plagued by bitter rows over gay clergy and women bishops that have left him struggling to prevent the Church from unravelling.

Explaining his reasons for leaving, Dr Williams admitted that “crisis management” was not his “favourite activity” but denied the rows over homosexuality had “overshadowed everything”.

But he said: “It has certainly been a major nuisance. But in every job that you are in there are controversies and conflicts and this one isn’t going to go away in a hurry. I can’t say that it is a great sense of ‘free at last’.”

Dr Williams said his successor would need the “constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros”.

Ouch. Bitter much? Bit him too!

He described the Church of England as a “great treasure” which was still a place where many people sought inspiration and comfort in times of need.

“I would like the successor that God would like,” he said. “I think that it is a job of immense demands and I would hope that my successor has the constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros, really.

“But he will, I think, have to look with positive, hopeful eyes on a Church which, for all its problems, is still, for so many people, a place to which they resort in times of need and crisis, a place to which they look for inspiration.

“I think the Church of England is a great treasure. I wish my successor well in the stewardship of it.”

This may in fact be a battle between the Liberal and Conservative elements within the church.

Dr Williams has been long known for his socially liberal views but he frustrated the liberal wing of the Church by siding with conservatives over the issue of the appointment of homosexual priests.

He faces defeat over the Anglican Communion Covenant, a deal designed to prevent the Church splitting. It effective prevents openly gay clergy from becoming bishops by preventing branches doing anything that might cause a schism.

When Dr Williams unveiled the document in 2010, he urged the church to endorse it or risk seeing the “piece-by-piece dissolution” of the Anglican Communion.

The Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Rev Dr Graham Kings, warned that rejection of the Covenant would cause the worldwide church to “disintegrate”, and added: “Rowan Williams has put his whole weight behind this ... For anyone in his position it would be devastating [if it failed].”

Branches of the Anglican church around the world are considering whether the deal should be adopted.

In the Church of England it requires the approval of a majority of the 44 dioceses to proceed to a final vote at the General Synod.

But so far 17 dioceses have voted against, and only ten in favour. The rebellion is being led by liberal dioceses who say they would be punished under the arrangements.

I don’t understand this next bit at all. This COE news from last week is confusing: the Archbishop wants closer ties with the Papacy, but at the same time wants COE Conservatives to stop going over to the Catholics? Umm, wasn’t the COE created in the first place to NOT be part of the Catholic Church? Yeah I know, Henry VIII and his dalliances and divorces and all that. But wasn’t there also some Martin Luther aspect to things? They were contemporaries after all. And the whole point of the Reformation was to distance themselves from the worldly corruption and regality that the Church in Rome had become.

And now the traditionalists in the Anglican faith feel that they can only find their worldview reflected in Catholicism? Horry Clap. This is a BIG DEAL. Really. It is as if the whole country got together and said, “Sod this speaking English stuff. From now on, it’s French all the way. Good enough for the Normans, good enough for us.” It’s an unbelievable break with tradition.

Archbishop of Canterbury in fresh push to stop Anglicans from converting

The Archbishop of Canterbury signalled a fresh push to dissuade traditionalist Anglicans from defecting to the Roman Catholic Church as he joined the Pope in stressing moves to bring the two churches together.

Rowan Williams used a joint prayer service in Rome to call for a renewed drive to “restore full sacramental communion” between the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Dr Williams and Pope Benedict XVI prayed and lit candles together at the Chapel of St Gregory the Great, in a service highlighting 1,400 years of links between the church in England and Rome.
The site’s links to England date back to the sixth century when it was the home of Pope Gregory the Great.

It was from there that he dispatched St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, on a mission to help reconvert the Anglo-Saxons.

In his address the Pope described the site as the “birthplace of the link between Christianity in Britain and the Church of Rome”.
Traditionalist Anglo-Catholics have warned that the move would set back efforts to restore full communion between the Anglican and Catholic churches.

Several hundred are poised to join the Ordinariate, the branch of the Catholic Church set up for disaffected Anglicans, if a compromise agreement cannot be reached.

But in his address Dr Williams spoke pointedly of the two churches as “one holy catholic and apostolic body”.

Ok, now I am fully confused. I surrender. What on earth is going on? Was the idea that he’d make the COE so much like the Catholic church that the right wingers can be spared the bother of having to convert? How does that square with the rest of the flock, who - and it’s perhaps just my imagination and distorted sense of history - don’t want any part of being Catholic in the first place?? Plus the whole gays thing. Sounds to me like this Archbishop has mined the cricket pitch, and has bowled a googly. This can not bode well for the players in this innings.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 10:09 AM   
Filed Under: • ReligionUK •  
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Double Skunked

Not a good week for me with bowling leagues. We lost on both nights.

On Greed League we went down 3-4 to the 1st place team, after being utterly schooled last week by the 2nd place team 2-5. So I guess we’ll fall out of 3rd now, or be very close to it. A lot of the blame falls on me. I’ve been in a horrible slump the past couple of weeks. I thought my old ball was dying, just loaded up with oil like a sponge. Perhaps it was, but at least half of the problem was me. I want so desperately to bowl like the big boys I’m up against in this league, with their 240 averages and their giant booming hook shots. But I can’t do it. That Ah Ha moment just hasn’t happened for me, the elusive epiphany wherein you suddenly know how to make it happen. I know I can do it; about 1 in 20 balls I throw bends like mad, turns the corner like a sports car, and blasts the daylights out of the pins. And I don’t know how it happens! Most of the time my ball takes a more central path down the lanes with just a small continuous arc. And with good placement that can do the job. But I want more, so I tend to try and force it to happen, and therein lies my error. You have to let the ball do the work. Forcing things will screw you up, as I’ve seen lately as my bowling plummets to the 140s and below. Hell, from being a 180s average player I threw a 106 last week. Hide my face and crawl away.

On Cheap League we’ve been in 1st place for 4 weeks now, just barely. We’ve either been up in total pins and tied in points, or just 1 point ahead. Last night we got schooled again. 2-5, and the fellow on the other team threw his best series of the year. He’s one of the best bowlers on that league, and had the second highest series of the season. Last night he raised it up by 13 points. And I struggled, even with my freshly baked and resurfaced ball. 40 and 50 pins below average. Ow ow ow ow. Near the end of the last game I got a tip by one of the guys who works at the alley. He reminded me to stop trying to force the ball, and to stay behind it, and to come through the ball with my thumb straight up. And I did that, and closed out the last 3 frames with solid strikes, 5 in a row, giving me a 206. That still wasn’t enough for our team to win, but we almost made it, and I certainly felt better for rolling my first decent game in nearly a month. We’ll probably drop out of 1st after this loss, but we won’t be too far down the heap, and we still have 5 weeks to recover.

I’m going to force myself to get up to the lanes and practice what I was told. Calmly. Carefully. And maybe I can get back on track and stop being an albatross for my teams.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/16/2012 at 09:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Bowling Blogging •  
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calendar   Thursday - March 15, 2012

Poor Peiper

No, I’m not picking on him, nor am I saying that he’s in dire financial straits.

I just happened to be reading a post at American Thinker on how US Attorney General Eric Holder has proven himself to be a racist YET AGAIN with the whole voter ID thing in Texas and South Carolina, and I followed a link to an earlier story on relative poverty.

I know that Peiper does not own a television. And I know that he’s had some maintenance issues with his little house over there in England. And it is a little house, not one of those sprawling McMansions. I don’t think his place has central air either. Not that you need air conditioning in England very often. But by the standards shown at the above link, regardless of income or financial security, his lack of consumerism rates him as being poor.

So send him some money today. Put it in the PayPal box on the side here, and I’ll forward it to him. First chance I get. I promise.

Yes there are poor people in America. Some of them live in cars or out on the streets. Some of them are crammed into tiny run down apartments. Some of them aren’t getting much of any help from anyone, even the government. But very very very few of them go hungry, and just as few or even fewer sleep without a roof over their heads. Being poor in America still means living better than almost all the regular folks in China, India, or any country in Africa, a really large chunk of South America, Central America, and Indonesia. And waaaay better than the actual poor in those lands. In America a great many of our poor are fat, and sit around all day playing X-box video games on their wide screen HDTVs, and can’t decide which fairly new car to drive to go pick up the assistance check. In the rest of the world, being poor means living in the mud, nearly naked, and on the edge of starvation. Relative to them, our poor are rich.

America sucks, don’t it?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2012 at 11:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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Another Obama Lie

Thomas Sowell and the Promise of Equity

Just who made this promise remains unclear, and why equity should mean equal outcomes despite differences in behavior is even more unclear. This crusade by Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is only the latest in a long line of fraudulent arguments based on statistics.

What is the purpose or effect of this whole exercise by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice? To help black students or to secure the black vote in an election year by seeming to be coming to the rescue of blacks from white oppression?

Sowell rocks. Good reading, and not too long an essay.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2012 at 11:19 AM   
Filed Under: • Obama, The OneRacism and race relations •  
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So where were we?

Peiper is taking a couple days off to deal with some issues. He will return when he can.

I’m a bit late posting this morning. I was playing guns with another blogger, designing a couple more mid-power military assault rifle cartridges. It’s easy to do based on .308/.30-06 cases, although scrunching them up to fit into the AR rifle platform really limits performance. It can be done though. One thing that I don’t like is the tendency to cram a “big” bullet deep into the cartridge case to try and make it fit into some arbitrary overall length (OAL), like the 2.25” OAL that the AR rifles are limited to. Here’s an example:


This is the 6.5 Grendel cartridge, an excellent lower-mid-power design that is no longer trademarked as of last month. It is shown with a large bullet seated way into the main body of the case. I don’t like this. In an optimum world, I don’t think any flat based bullet should be seated so that the heel is beyond the base of the neck, or a boat tail base bullet seated deeper than the boat tail being past the end of the neck. This is shown by the purple and aqua lines, respectively. Doing so makes it almost impossible to utilize a full charge of powder without compressing it or smashing some of the grains when you force the bullet in. A full charge - what shooters call 100% load density - not only keeps the bullet from shifting backwards under recoil, it also maximizes potential accuracy. In my opinion, if you’re forced to use such a large bullet to get the BC and SD you want (Ballistic Coefficient [aerodynamic drag] and Sectional Density [a measure of mass to diameter that is usually directly proportional to penetrating ability]) and have to seat it like this, then your cartridge design needs some work. Large for their caliber bullets are of course heavier than normal, and that heaviness gives you a bit more inertia at both very short and very long ranges, which increases killing power. In theory. Personally I think you’d be better off seating them to optimum depth and then working up the powder charge to get the velocity/pressure/powder burnt percentage/muzzle flash you want. Unfortunately that can’t be done when you’re trying to retrofit a bigger cartridge into an existing weapon platform, and that’s what this is all about: finding a more potent round for the AR rifles than the 5.56 NATO poodle shooter. The 6.5 Grendel is a great choice for this, in my opinion better than the 6.8 SPC from Remington. Both cartridges are significantly more potent than the 5.56 NATO cartridge, and both fit into the AR rifle with only a small loss in magazine capacity. Both generate more recoil, but I don’t see that as a real issue. The recoil they generate is quite light, less than half of the 7.62 NATO/M14 cartridge and rifle, but it’s still more than the finger tap level of recoil that the 5.56 makes in an M16/AR15 rifle.

My cartridge design is a bit more potent than either of these. I call it the .270 Savage Short because I based it on the old .300 Savage, which itself was a shortened .30-06 developed a few years after WWI. A .270 is the same caliber as a 6.8mm; both use bullets .277” in diameter. With a light 115 grain bullet my design makes a potent 400 yard military assault weapon with very little recoil, and with a heavier 130 grain bullet it becomes a 600 yard battle rifle with only a bit more recoil. Unfortunately it would need a rebated rim cut to fit the largest possible AR bolt face, though with a cartridge body just a couple hundredths bigger than the Grendel’s (.470” vs .445") magazine capacity will be the same or perhaps 1 or 2 rounds less. And my design produces much more velocity from a short barreled gun too. A calculated 2800fps with a 115gr bullet in a 20” barrel, all powder burnt, with reduced muzzle flash and lowered noise, and only 10lbs of recoil in a 7lb rifle. 2700fps with a 130gr bullet and 12lb of recoil. Certainly manageable.


Armchair cartridge design. It’s a fun way to play and you can talk about your creations for hours. All you need is the software. Actually building the cartridge would cost a few hundred. Add in another thousand for the custom barrel, and 10 or 20 thousand for professional pressure measurement, which you’d need if you wanted to bring the thing to market. So doing on the computer is much cheaper, even if it’s only 95% realistic.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2012 at 10:12 AM   
Filed Under: • Daily LifeGuns and Gun ControlMilitary •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 14, 2012

Indoctrination Complete


I pledge allegiance to the king
Of the United States of Obamica
And to the audacity o’er which He reigns
One borderless nanny-state, under Him,
With limited liberty and social justice for some.
mmm mmm mmmm

President Obama’s face in place of stars on an American flag flying at Lake County Democratic Headquarters in Tavares [Florida] irked a group of veterans on Tuesday, who found themselves engaged in a verbal confrontation and the threat of police action when they requested the flag be taken down.

The matter was resolved peacefully when Democratic party officials removed the flag.

The Obama flag had been flowing for two months underneath an American flag before it was noticed by the veterans, who argued that it was a desecration of the flag and in violation of three codes passed by Congress about displaying the American flag.

“We were given this as a gift,” said Nancy Hurlbert, chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party. “We are proud of our president, we’re proud of the United States, and we felt it was time to display that.”

Leesburg veteran Jim Bradford recalled he did a double take when he saw the Obama flag with red and white stripes for the first time over the weekend.

“When I saw the picture on the flag, I thought this is wrong,” he said. “I really hate seeing the flag not being respected, and to me this was not respectful.”

Bradford took pictures of the flag and sent them, via email, to friends and veterans groups.

“The general reply has been this is not right,” he said, adding politics has nothing to do with the issue.

“I really don’t care what party it is. If it had been a picture of Romney on the flag, I would have done the same thing,” Bradford said.

“What really upsets me is that the flag had apparently been flying for months and no one had done anything about it,” Bradford said. “I’ve got no hard feelings toward [Hurlbert], but people will be driving by there to make sure it doesn’t go up again.”

Hurlbert said Tuesday’s incident was the first time anyone had complained about the flag, which she received as a gift two months ago.

“It leads me to believe that it’s not about the flag,” she told “Certain elements cannot accept Barack Obama as president.”

Dat’s right, we is raaaacists. No matter what the situation is, no matter what the offense is, no matter how egregious a violation of the Constitution, state law, or even accepted traditional American way of life, any and all criticism of Great Leader is because he’s black. Wait, isn’t he just as white as he is black? Heck, whiter even, since he didn’t actually “become” black until he moved to Chicago? Before that he was white, or Indonesian, or something? Not that that matters. Speak up about a terrible desecration of our national emblem, and you’re a racist.

The final insult to veterans? The flag is made in China.

Horry clap. Isn’t time for the stonings to begin?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/14/2012 at 12:06 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsObama, The One •  
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eye see you



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/14/2012 at 11:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Eye-Candy •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 13, 2012

A Dragon Rises

This is another one of Drew’s long winded, esoteric, and perhaps dull and boring posts on things that catch my interest online. I’ll put up a couple of pictures, and the major links, which some of you might follow. But from my end this post is somewhere between a book report and a research project. I spent at least 5 hours on this yesterday, running down dozens of links and learning a whole bunch of stuff, from history to construction techniques to archaeology. And the little you see here took me hours to write. And I still have no idea how I got on the subject to begin with. So here goes ...

The Vikings Are Coming! The Vikings Are Coming!

… sometime next year, if things go right

Work nears completion on the Draken Harald Hårfagre (English: the Dragon Harold Fairhair), the first full size standard model Viking longship built in at least 800 years. Launch date set for March 2013.


Read all about it, with lots of pictures and links to videos, right here.

Even more iconic than a German Luger, just about everyone knows what a Viking longship looks like, even though the Vikings have been gone for around 900 years now. It is as if this kind of ship spotting is engraved in our genes; Vikings! Danger! and we remember across the generations. In all the world only the tiniest handful of real longships still exist, perhaps half a dozen in all the museums everywhere. But while we know the shape, we really don’t know the size, and the (admittedly ethnocentric) anthropologists, archaeologists, and history expects have pushed the opinion that these fearsome warships really weren’t all that big; that the ships described in the old Norse sagas were greatly exaggerated and only existed at the bottom of several large tankards of mead. After all, look at the pictures on the Bayeaux Tapestry, a linen and wool history book made at the peak of the Viking Age.


Even allowing for some artistic license, the longships shown are not all that big. A dozen oars per side. We’re talking a crew of maybe 40-50 at most. Not several hundred. No way close to the great ships of the sagas that held 1000 men. Flights of fancy. And in over a century of digging them up, the largest one ever found was about 98 feet long. The Oseberg, one of the best preserved examples, a mere 78 feet. (This was a woman’s burial. Those barbaric horrid Vikings had better Equal Rights than most of the world at that time. And since this was a funerary ship, I should say they had pretty good Equal Rites as well.) The Gokstad, a more seaworthy design, just 85 feet.

image image

The Oseberg and the Gokstad

Although both of these ships were built in the 800s, Early Viking Age, both are pretty much the same size as the ships shown in the Bayeaux Tapestry, Late Viking Age. And the Saxon burial ship from 700, the “pre-Viking” era, the Sutton Hoo, was 89 feet long. The Sutton Hoo ship was loaded with treasure, but the ship itself was never found. It rotted away in the clay after being buried, but left such a fantastic imprint in the soil that every last plank and nail can be seen, right down to the grain of the wood. The design of the Sutton Hoo was very very close to that of later Viking ships.


punchline dyslexia: “Knock knock! Who’s there? Sutton. Sutton who? Third base!”

No one questions that these ships could sail. No one questions that they could sail for really long distances either. In 1893, a reconstruction of the Gokstad ship sailed from Scandinavia to the World Fair in Chicago:


The Vikings had many different styles of ships, from dinghys to fishing vessels to traders, but none were so large as the longships. And the longest of those ever found or drawn was under 100 feet. So it was “settled science”, even though translated documents recorded a mustering agreement - that in emergencies, to defend the realm, more than 370 naval longships could be called up read to fight, plus privateers - perhaps 1000 total - and the average size of those ships was 25 sesse, which meant 50 oars, which was a bigger ship than anyone now alive was willing to believe in. These academic guys are so rigorous. Almost snobs. It’s all a lie until they can stub their toes on one. Bloody Vikings? Phooey. Bloody professors. Even the “Viking Age” is snobbishly ethnocentric: it begins in June 8, 793 when the first attacks happened in England. As if the Vikings hadn’t figured things out before that, and gone around beating up their neighbors right across the Baltic. Hella no, it wasn’t official until they came after the UK. After that it was a scourge.

So for more than 100 years after the first real live Viking longship was found, 90-100 feet was the accepted upper size limit, and the old Sagas were all pish and tosh. It was “proven” that they couldn’t be any bigger because the lightly built longships would break in two from loading and wave bending. Primitive barbarian giant canoes really, what what.

The toe stubbing happened in 1997, and it happened in a way that could make you believe old “Lucky” Leif Eriksson was smiling down from Valhalla.

Denmark’s Viking Ship Museum sits on the edge of the sea at the end of the Roskilde fjord, a few dozen miles northwest and the next isthmus over from Malmo. It was built there because 5 sunken Viking ships were found nearby in 1962. The ships had been scuttled 950 years ago to protect the town from attack by another bunch of Vikings.

The later years of the 11th century were tough and troubled times. The Vikings therefore established a series of blockades in Roskilde Fjord to protect Roskilde, the then capital of Denmark, against attack by sea.

The five ships on display in the Viking Ship Hall were scuttled to form a blockade in the Peberrende, a natural channel in Roskilde Fjord near Skuldelev, some 20 km north of Roskilde. That is why they are known as the Skuldelev ships.

They were excavated from the sea bed in 1962. The blockade was surrounded by iron sheet piling and the site then drained. In less than four months, the five ships were successfully excavated in thousands of pieces. There then remained the colossal task of conserving the timber fragments and, not least, of assembling all the pieces of the jigsaw to recreate five Viking ships.

The find contained five different ship types, which together provide a unique impression of Viking shipbuilding skills and craftsmanship.

The museum is a popular place, with about 200,000 visitors per year. They have several of the Skuldelev ships on display, quite a number of other Viking exhibits, and they have a boat yard where they build new wooden boats based on the original Viking designs. And then sail them. So popular a place that in the mid 90s they needed more room. When they started digging the foundations for their new building they came up with more than just dirt. They hit paydirt. Nine Viking ships buried under the soil, right in their own backyard.

Roskilde 6 was found – together with eight other ships from Viking times and the Middle Ages – during the construction of the Museum Harbour for the Viking Ship Museum in 1997. The ship had been hauled up into shallow water in Roskilde’s Viking harbour area and partially broken up. Therefore, only part of the bottom was preserved. Despite this it is one of the most remarkable Viking ship finds yet seen.

The ship they named Roskilde 6 was 36 meters long. Nearly 115 feet. 39 pairs of oars. 78 rowers plus crew; it probably carried 100 men. That’s assuming just one man per oar. Double that if they had two. It is by far and away the largest Viking ship ever found, though only the lower planks and ribs still exist. And it looks like those old barbarians had the “it’s too big, it will break instead of bend” thing all figured out, as the Roskilde 6 was built in sections, with the aft section attached to the center one with some rather impressive joinery ... that just might work like a hinge. The 6 was built at some point after 1025, during the reign of King Canute, towards the end of the Viking Age. 1025 was before the Norman Invasion of 1066, thus before the Bayeaux Tapestry was stitched. Canute was the Great Viking King, forming an empire of Norway, Sweden, northern England, and Denmark.

Now, you’re probably saying, gee whiz Drew, that’s just another 16 or so feet. Maybe 35 feet compared to the smaller ones. True. But it’s a volume thing; this ship was probably 1.4 times the mass of the smaller ones. Half again as big. And by the standards of the sagas, it wasn’t even close to large. It was only a little bit bigger than the standard medium sized ship. A big snekke (snake), but barely a real draken (dragon). If the sagas aren’t too overblown, there once were longships afloat in the 150-175 foot range. 100 oars, a crew of 500? That’s more than half the size of a WWII destroyer.

And that brings us back, finally, to the good ship Harold Fairhair. Named for the Viking king who unified the tribes and became the first king of Norway, around the year 890. Though famous in Norse sagas, Harold gets snubbed by the Ivory Tower Know It Alls too. By the most amazing coincidence, this new ship under construction is also 114 feet long. Exactly the same size as the Roskilde 6. The ship they said that couldn’t exist. Harold is being built with a bit blunter shape, less pointy at both ends and perhaps a bid broader in the middle. That will accommodate the double oarsmen. It is thought that the Roskilde 6 was actually very narrow, but they only recovered the lower planks and the keel so I have my doubts about that.

At a hundred and fourteen feet of crafted oak, twenty-seven feet on the beam, displacing seventy tons, and with a thirty-two hundred square foot sail of pure silk, this magnificent ship will indeed be worthy of a king.

The Dragon Harald Fairhair will have 25 pairs of oars. It is necessary to have at least two people on each oar to row the ship efficiently. That will give a crew of at least 100 persons, yet the craft should be able to be sailed by only twelve.

I’m really looking forward to this, to seeing a real Sea Dragon fly across the water.


it bears the bad news: wood carving from the 12th century spreads the news: the Vikings are coming!

Latest news:  new tiny viking ship burial found in Scotland:  The grave of a single Viking found near the shore, in his little boat. The 16 foot ship had sailed from Norway to Ireland to Scotland with just 1-3 people aboard.

Lastly: If you want to go a-viking, the Harald is looking for a crew. But you’ve got to know your sailing, and you’ve got to be tough. Real tough; this is an open boat with no roof. And no bathroom. The shakedown cruises will start this summer, and a trans-Atlantic voyage is planned for next year. That will be a journey from somewhere in Vinland all the way to the Black Sea; from the coast of Canada across to Greenland and Iceland, then Europe down to the Straits of Gibraltar, across the Mediterranean to Istanbul, and up into the Black Sea. Then on to Sevastopol or up the Danube or the Dan? Who can say? But all these places have seen the Vikings before.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/13/2012 at 11:37 AM   
Filed Under: • planes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
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It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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