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58 minutes ago, TGP said:

Do those pirates fly any flag at all, @paintybeard ?

 

Nope, they operate from non-descript little coasters like this;

95897182_FVGoldenWave.jpg.95dc57027711a34028786e6c27f10879.jpg

 

And then board you from skiffs like this:

1362214507_PiratesSkiffs.jpg.f79ff30164172c14010d0e2136f7ee77.jpg

 

Edited by paintybeard
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Those coasters are often ships they have captured, and odds are that at least some of the original crew is still on board as hostages.   

It's also widely believed that the pirates gets shipping info from porths in nearby countries.   

 

One of the reasons used early on for the pirates is that trawlers from other countries have decimated their resources so that it's just about impossible for the locals to earn a living fishing.    

Whether or not it's true that they have no legal options for earning a living, it IS true that fishermen from certain other countries took advantage of the lack of a governing body and plundered the ocean for just about anything with gills. 

 

Pirates comes in many guises, one more unsavory than the next.

Edited by Gadgetman!
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All true Gadgetman, and you will just have to forgive my lack of sympathy for people who are trying to take me hostage/shoot me while I do a days work.

 

Fortunately the various patrols out here have made a difference and the Indian Ocean transit is rather less risky than it was in 2015. 

Edited by paintybeard
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41V17IUeBNL.jpg.eb7dfffda2a0b859447eca95b8a74637.jpg T'day's lesson is on Beetlejuice, the movie what launched Tim Burton and Winona Ryder's careers. Didn't do any harm to the other actors in it, either.

The original working title was House Ghosts, but at one point, they were considering Scared Sheetless.

It's Michael Keaton's favorite role, to the point where he's repeatedly said he'd cheerfully do a sequel even NOW, so long as Tim Burton's in the driver's seat. It may be because Burton simply let Keaton run wild, as he felt that Keaton's interpretation of the character was better than the script's, and something like nine out of ten of Beetlejuice's lines were ad libbed by Keaton, rather than in the script. Alec Baldwin, on the other hand, did not like his own performance, and isn't crazy about the movie.

Catherine O'Hara, who played Delia Deetz, met her future husband, production designer Bo Welch, while making this film. Welch did not design Delia's sculptures, however, those being sketched out by Burton, and later created based on Burton's designs. He is on record as saying he wanted them to be particularly awful examples of art.

Original casting choices included Sammy Davis Jr. as Beetlejuice, Anjelica Huston as Delia Deetz, and Heather Langenkamp as Lydia; none of these quite took.

In the original draft, the Deetz family had TWO children, and Beetlejuice was a straight up villain; the film was originally envisioned as a horror film, to be directed by Wes Craven, (still hot off the Nightmare On Elm Street series) and ended with daughter Lydia being raped by Beetlejuice, and later dying, and being adopted by the ghostly Maitlands. That changed after Burton and Keaton got hold of it.

Burton did NOT want to do a sequel, and when pressured by studio execs in the wildly successful aftermath, decided to come up with a really stupid idea, so's to make them reconsider: he wrote a treatment called Beetlejuice Goes Hawaiian, intending for it to be rejected immediately. The execs LIKED it, of course, and at one point, Kevin Smith was attached as writer. It never quite congealed, but the script WAS written, and is apparently floating around online...





 

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Some 10-12 million years ago, there was a great eruption in what is now Yellowstone National Park (the Bruneau-Jarbridge Eruptive Center).  Ash from that eruption drifted across the country and killed countless animals.

 

Some of the numbered innumerables were a herd of early rhinoceros (teleoceras).  The herd stopped at a local (near what is now Royal, Nebraska) watering hole and their time there filled their lungs with ash and eventually suffocated them.  We know this, because in 1971 someone discovered the skull of one of the rhinos and excavated the surrounding area.  There was a significant hubbub regarding this (including attention from National Geographic), but after uncovering several impressive specimens the REAL discovery was made.

 

It's now known as the Ashfall Fossil Beds, and "The Rhino Barn" and is a few yards from the original discovery.  Dozens of rhinos, early horses, early camels, saber-toothed deer, assorted small animals, etc. had been preserved in the lightweight ash.  I emphasize the weight of the ash because so many of the fossils are still articulated.  In some cases it is possible to determine what the creatures last ate.  In another instance, you can observe a fetus still held where the mother's womb would be.   

 

It is still being excavated, and the powers that be are hopeful that they will eventually uncover some of the era's more impressive predators.  Although some predator tracks have been discovered, all of the large animals unearthed so far have been herbivores.

 

Other fossils connected to the site (but not necessarily the eruption) include zebras, elephants, and some rather impressive turtle/tortoises.

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On 8/20/2018 at 9:05 PM, paintybeard said:

Their law (Strafgesetzbuch section 86a) outlaws "use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations" outside the contexts of "art or science, research or teaching".

I have encountered and observed side-effects of this law. 

 

19 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

It has gone so far that in Germany you can't play a video shooter like Wolfenstein in an original setting, the symbol is replaced by another symbol.

There are a couple of forums I read that are/were based out of Germany, both war games related. On both, the mods would take down any post that had any hint of a swastika. 

 

Even if the image was of a model Heinkel 111 bomber, and was posted in the model building section of the Forum, in the sub-section dedicated to WW2, if the plane had historically accurate insignia...(swastikas) ...they would remove it. 

 

The forums would not attempt to excuse/permit it as art or teaching history. 

 

Der Swastika ist Verböten!

 

...even the Finnish version, which was light blue. (If you ever see an American built airplane with pale [light blue] swastikas as tail markings, it is Finland’s Air Force. We sold planes to Finland before WW2. Back then, the Finns were desperately  trying to fight off Stalin’s Armies. That same barely remembered war is where+when the phrase “Molotov Covktail” is from.)

ca4101_box.jpg

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Thanks to the 3D printing technology NASA can now email stl files to spacestations.

If the crew needs parts for repairs they can now print them on site.

This speeds up things and is much cheaper.

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5 hours ago, TGP said:

Der Swastika ist Verböten!

 

...even the Finnish version, which was light blue. (If you ever see an American built airplane with pale [light blue] swastikas as tail markings, it is Finland’s Air Force. We sold planes to Finland before WW2. Back then, the Finns were desperately  trying to fight off Stalin’s Armies. That same barely remembered war is where+when the phrase “Molotov Covktail” is from.)

ca4101_box.jpg

 

This "barely remembered war" * is the Russo-Finnish Winter War. When Hitler and Stalin agreed to carve up Poland in 1939 Adolf also agreed to turn a blind eye while Uncle Joe grabbed the Baltic Republics and Finland. The Baltics soon went under, But Finland fought Russia long and hard, inflicting several bloody defeats before negotiating peace for a small loss of territory.

 

Molotov gets another weapon named after him: In the usual way of dictators Stalin claimed his invasion was to liberate and feed the poor starving Finns. So the Finns called the bombs being dropped on Helsinki "Molotovs' Breadbaskets"

 

* Well remembered by military history nut-cases like me! ::D:

Edited by paintybeard
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2 hours ago, paintybeard said:

The Baltics soon went under, But Finland fought Russia long and hard, inflicting several bloody defeats before negotiating peace for a small loss of territory.

 

True as far as it goes. It should not be surprising, then, that when the Germans turned on their fellow socialists in 1941, the Finns joined them in their war on the USSR. (The Finns refer to this as the Continuation War.) This subsequent war between the USSR and Finland lasted until late 1944, when a peace treaty was negotiated.

 

Asides:

  • To the best of my knowledge, Finland is the only 'Axis' country that ever paid all its WWII 'reparations'.
  • Finnish pilots quite liked the American-built Brewster Buffalo. They thought it much better than the Fokker D.XXI, for instance, and in fact one of the best aircraft in their inventory with a reported* loss-kill ratio of 1:32. The American experience of this airplane is rather different. The airplane was butchered by the Japanese Zero throughout the Pacific and was basically withdrawn entirely by mid-1942. And the Brewster company is the only military aircraft manufacturer that I know of that was shut down during a war (without being obliterated, that is) for gross mismanagement.

* Such ratios are notoriously inaccurate, but the inaccuracies seem to be about the same on all sides of the war. That ratio (even though the actual ratio of losses to kills was likely quite a bit lower), is pretty impressive.

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27 minutes ago, Doug Sundseth said:

 

True as far as it goes. It should not be surprising, then, that when the Germans turned on their fellow socialists in 1941, the Finns joined them in their war on the USSR. (The Finns refer to this as the Continuation War.) This subsequent war between the USSR and Finland lasted until late 1944, when a peace treaty was negotiated.

 

 

Also true as far as it goes... ::D:

Finland and Russia only agree an armistice in 1944. (The Moscow Armistice) Peace isn't signed until 1947. (Paris Peace treaty.)

As part of the 1944 agreement the poor old Finns have to (a) Start demobilising their army and (b) force any remaining Germans out of Finland into Norway. This leads to a series of (comparatively) small actions usually called the Lapland War.

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During WWII, the US Army Air Corps examined damaged aircraft and looked at where the planes had been hit most often to determine where it might be useful to add armor. In this, they determined that the wings, mid-fuselage, and empennage were most likely to be damaged and took some action accordingly. After the war, a Hungarian mathematician by the name of Abraham Wald took a look at the same data, and after some analysis produced a paper explaining that the places to add protection were the places where the planes showed the least damage, not the most damage.

 

The problem was that the only aircraft the USAAC had to examine were the planes that survived to return to base. Which means that they were the planes that had been damaged in the places least likely to cause the destruction of the aircraft. In contrast, aircraft that were damaged elsewhere were much more likely to crash and were thus not included in the study.

 

This was a classic case of what is known as Survivorship Bias. It's really easy to never notice the parts of the dataset that you never see.

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