Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Zeppelin over the Gizeh Pyramids, 1931

The Graf Zeppelin's Rendezvous with the Eternal Desert and the More than 4,000 Year-old Pyramids of Gizeh, Egypt.

Wikimedia Commons

Surviving kamikaze pilot kills himself

The person in the water is a Japanese kamikaze pilot who survived the crash and then goes about killing himself with a grenade as the American soldiers want to shoot him.

WW2PacificTheatreVid Youtube Channel

Largest nuclear bomb ever detonated

The Tsar Bomba (Царь бомба) was the largest, most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated. It was a three-stage hydrogen bomb with a yield of about 50 megatons. This is equivalent to ten times the amount of all the explosives used in World War II combined. It was detonated on October 30, 1961, in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, and was capable of approximately 100 megatons, but was purposely reduced shortly before the launch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Unused audio commentary for Lord Of The Rings by Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky

Chomsky: Gandalf is clearly wondering if it's time to invoke his plan for the supposed revelation concerning the secret magic ring. Why now? Well, I think it's because the people in Mordor — the Orcs, I'm speaking of — are starting to obtain some power, are starting to ask a little bit more from Middle Earth than Middle Earth has ever seen fit to give to them. And I don't think it's unreasonable for them to expect something back from Middle Earth. Of course, if that happened, the entire economy would be disrupted.

Zinn: The pipe-weed-based economy.

Chomsky: And, as you pointed out earlier, the military-industrial-complex that exists in Gondor. This constant state of alertness. This constant state of fear. And here Gandalf reveals his true nature.

McSweeney's Internet Tendency: Unused Audio Commentary By Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for The Fellowship of the Ring Platinum Series Extended Edition DVD, Part One

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Painwise, 1972

Painwise by James Tiptree, jr. (1972) One of the most over-the-top stories you'll ever know!

He was wise in the ways of pain. He had to be, for he felt none.

When the Xenons put electrodes to his testicles, he was vastly entertained by the pretty lights.

When the Ylls fed firewasps into his nostrils and other body orifices the resultant rainbows pleased him. And when later they regressed to simple disjointments and eviscerations, he noted with interest the deepening orchid hues that stood for irreversible harm.

Read James Tiptree jr: Painwise

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin

Graf Zeppelin was a German aircraft carrier of the Kriegsmarine, named like the famous airship in honour of Graf (Count) Ferdinand von Zeppelin. It was Germany's only aircraft carrier during World War II. Its construction was ordered on November 16, 1935, and its keel was laid down December 28, 1936 by Deutsche Werke of Kiel. It was launched on December 8, 1938, but was never completed.

Wikipedia: German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin

Lost German girl

A short clip from final episode of the "World At War" BBC series. It shows a German girl in despair, clearly wounded and confused, on a country road after the passage of the Red Army, somewhere in Czechoslovakia.

The same girl can be seen in a much longer clip called "Czechoslovakia 1945 in Color" below. This film is also available with an extensive commentary at the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at USHMM.

Extensive discussion on the Axis History Forum dates this footage as of May 8th 1945, while the exact location of the shot and the identity of the girl remain unknown.

UnknownWWIIinColor Youtube Channel

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to set traps and snares

Position your traps and snares where there is proof that animals pass through. You must determine if it is a "run" or a "trail." A trail will show signs of use by several species and will be rather distinct. A run is usually smaller and less distinct and will only contain signs of one species. You may construct a perfect snare, but it will not catch anything if haphazardly placed in the woods. Animals have bedding areas, waterholes, and feeding areas with trails leading from one to another. You must place snares and traps around these areas to be effective.

For an evader in a hostile environment, trap and snare concealment is important. It is equally important, however, not to create a disturbance that will alarm the animal and cause it to avoid the trap. Therefore, if you must dig, remove all fresh dirt from the area. Most animals will instinctively avoid a pitfall-type trap. Prepare the various parts of a trap or snare away from the site, carry them in, and set them up. Such actions make it easier to avoid disturbing the local vegetation, thereby alerting the prey. Do not use freshly cut, live vegetation to construct a trap or snare. Freshly cut vegetation will "bleed" sap that has an odor the prey will be able to smell. It is an alarm signal to the animal.

You must remove or mask the human scent on and around the trap you set. Although birds do not have a developed sense of smell, nearly all mammals depend on smell even more than on sight. Even the slightest human scent on a trap will alarm the prey and cause it to avoid the area. Actually removing the scent from a trap is difficult but masking it is relatively easy. Use the fluid from the gall and urine bladders of previous kills. Do not use human urine. Mud, particularly from an area with plenty of rotting vegetation, is also good. Use it to coat your hands when handling the trap and to coat the trap when setting it. In nearly all parts of the world, animals know the smell of burned vegetation and smoke. It is only when a fire is actually burning that they become alarmed. Therefore, smoking the trap parts is an effective means to mask your scent.

Wilderness Survival: Food Procurement - Traps and Snares

Paul Otlet predicts the Internet in 1934

In 1895, Paul Otlet invented the first search engine: he accepted factual queries by mail, and combed through his collection of over 400,000 index cards for the answers. But even more impressive are Otlet’s remarkably prescient essays on the future information technology. In his 1934 work, “Traité de documentation,” Otlet envisions a future where, instead of reading from books, people will call for information to be sent to a screen on their workspace. And books, phonographs, telephones, and television will all become interlinked.

io9: Retro Futurism: Paul Otlet Predicts the Internet in 1934

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Pail Of Air, 1951

A Pail Of Air by Fritz Leiber (1951). The essence of post-apocalyptica.

Pa had sent me out to get an extra pail of air. I'd just about scooped it full and most of the warmth had leaked from my fingers when I saw the thing.

You know, at first I thought it was a young lady. Yes, a beautiful young lady's face all glowing in the dark and looking at me from the fifth floor of the opposite apartment, which hereabouts is the floor just above the white blanket of frozen air. I'd never seen a live young lady before, except in the old magazines—Sis is just a kid and Ma is pretty sick and miserable—and it gave me such a start that I dropped the pail. Who wouldn't, knowing everyone on Earth was dead except Pa and Ma and Sis and you?

Read Fritz Leiber: A Pail Of Air

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Boris Artzybasheff's Machinalia

In his introduction to the section titled "Machinalia" in his book "As I See", Boris Artzybasheff says, "I am thrilled by machinery's force, precision and willingness to work at any task, no matter how arduous or monotonous it may be. I would rather watch a thousand ton dredge dig a canal than see it done by a thousand spent slaves lashed into submission. I like machines."

ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive: Media: Artzybasheff's Machinalia