Archive for July 2010

United States aircraft losses in Vietnam   11 comments

Major U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict lasted from 1965-1972.  One of the main misunderstandings about the Vietnam War is the scale of the U.S. war effort.  48,000 U.S. military personnel were killed and 300,000 wounded.  But what is astonishing about the Vietnam War was the magnitude of the U.S. air campaign.  It was bigger than the U.S. bombing campaign in World War II.  The nation of Laos has the dubious distinction of being the most heavily bombed country in the history of the world.  The Ho Chi Minh Trail snaked through that country.  This trail was bombed continuously for 5 years.  Here are some facts that are truly amazing.

F-4 Phantom

All told, the U.S. Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties over South Vietnam, North Vietnam, northern and southern Laos, and Cambodia, losing 2,251 aircraft: 1,737 to hostile action, and 514 to operational causes. 110 of the losses were helicopters and the rest fixed-wing. A ratio of roughly 0.4 losses per 1,000 sorties compared favorably with a 2.0 rate in Korea and the 9.7 figure during World War II.  During the U.S. bombing campaign in Europe during WW II there were 754,818 sorties flown.♦

Total U.S. bomb tonnage dropped during:
     World War II =   2,057,244 tons
     Vietnam War =  7,078,032 tons  (3-1/2 times WWII

Bomb tonnage dropped during the Vietnam War amounted to
1,000 lbs. for every man, woman and child in Vietnam.

F-105 Thunderchief

Losses of selected aircraft.

B-52 Stratofortress– –31 total, 17 in combat

U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II– –445 total, 382 in combat

U.S. Navy F-4 Phantom –138 total, 75 in combat

U.S. Marine Corps F-4 Phantom –95 lost, 72 combat

F-100 Super Sabre– –243 total, 198 in combat

F-105D Thunderchief– –335 total, 283 in combat

The U.S. Army lost 5,086 helicopters including 3,000 Hueys.


Posted July 22, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Weirdest Rock Band Names Ever, in alphabetical order   1 comment

If you think Nickelback, Smashing Pumpkins, Limp Bizkit and The Bare Naked Ladies are funny mindless band names, you haven’t heard anything yet.  The mind altering drugs these characters were on when they thought up these names either revved up the creative juices or blocked stimulation to the cerebral cortex vortex.

The List in alphabetical order:



Anus the Menace



Blood Sledge Electric Death Chickens

Bondage A Go Go


Bulimia Banquet

Cap’n Crunch and the Cereal Killers

Crappy the Clown and the Punch Drunk Monkies

Deepthroat Shotgun

Dick Duck and the Dorks
Disgruntled Postal Workers
Doris Daze

Dow Jones and the Industrials

Drunken Ugly Basement Brothers

Endangered Feces

Evil Beaver

Fat Welfare Moms On Dust

50 Naked Midgets

The Fred Mertz Experience

The French are from Hell

Frumious Bandersnatch

The Gaza Strippers

Electric Al and the Poison Dart Frog McNuggets

Epileptic Disco
Ethyl Merman

The Fartz

Fearless Iranians From Hell

The Hostile Amish

Jehovah’s Witness Protection Program

Lesbian Dopeheads on Mopeds

Lubricated Goat

The Morning Shakes

Organic Condom Mazda Drugs

Porn on the Cob

Squirrel Nut Zippers

Super Sonic Soul Pimps

Titty Bingo

Vomit Launch

The Whip-M-Out Girl’s

Willie Nelson Mandela

Zombies Under Stress
Zombina & The Skeletones
Zorro and the Blue Footballs
Zsa Zsa
Zulu Leprechauns

Posted July 14, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Tiger-Dog and Dog-Pandas, only in China.   Leave a comment

The Chinese are a very innovative people.  They are known for many inventions.  They invented gunpowder, printing, paper and the compass to name a few.  Now they have come up with a completely novel innovation.  Painting pets to look like other animals.  The unsuspecting canine below is an example of this latest craze in the land of the Great Wall.♦

And the word craze is very appropriate.  Sometimes the Chinese do very crazy things.  One such crazy thing is this Chinese description of domestic marital relations.♦

I’m not exactly sure what to make of the intended logic behind that.

Here are more painted and strangely groomed critters.♦





Panda again

Posted July 12, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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U.S. Navy acquiring uniquely designed ships   Leave a comment

With a 663.8 billion dollar annual budget the U.S. military is always coming up with new toys.  The Hawks in Washington see a commie terrorist snake under every rock.  This American paranoia does lead to some interesting weapon systems however.  The ships below are a perfect example of this.♦

Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) are relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore). It is “envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.”  Two ship classes are the first examples of the LCS in the U.S. Navy: the Freedom-class and the Independence-class. LCS designs are slightly smaller than the US Navy’s guided missile frigates, and have been compared to the corvette of international usage. However, the LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two SH-60 Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with armoured fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. The standard armament for the LCS are Mk 110 57 mm guns, while modules containing Non-Line-of-Sight Launch Systems are available. It will also be able to launch autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Although the LCS designs offer less air defense and surface-to-surface capabilities than comparable destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission module space and a shallow draft.

General characteristics
Class and type: Independence-class littoral combat ship
Displacement: 2,176 tons light, 2,784 tons full, 608 tons deadweight
Length: 127.4 m (418 ft)
Beam: 31.6 m (104 ft)
Draft: 13 ft (3.96 m)
Propulsion: 2× MTU Friedrichshafen 20V 8000 Series diesel engines, 2x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines, 2x American VULKAN light weight multiple-section carbon fiber propulsion shaftlines, 4x Wärtsilä waterjets, retractable bow-mounted azimuth thruster, 4× diesel generators
Speed: 44 knots (51 mph; 81 km/h)
Range: 4,300 nm at 18 knots
Capacity: 210 metric tons (206 long tons, 231 short tons)
Complement: 40 core crew (8 officers, 32 enlisted) plus up to 35 mission crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • SAAB Sea GIRAFFE 3D air and surface search radar
  • Sperry Marine BridgeMaster E navigational radar
  • AN/KAX-2 electro-optical sensor with TV and FLIR
  • Northrop Grumman ICMS (Integrated Combat Management System)
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
  • ITT Corporation ES-3601 ESM system
  • 4× SRBOC decoy launchers for chaff and infrared decoys
  • BAE Systems NULKA active radar decoy system
  • 1x BAE Systems Mk 110 57 mm gun
  • 4× .50-cal guns (2 aft, 2 forward)
  • 1x Raytheon SeaRAM CIWS
  • Other weapons as part of mission modules
Aircraft carried:
  • 2× MH-60R/S Seahawk
  • MQ-8 Fire Scout

Posted July 12, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Canad Inns Stadium on a hot sultry night   1 comment

I was a the Bomber game on Friday night at a very hot Canad Inns Stadium in Winnipeg.  The home football team Bombers blew a decent lead to lose to the hated Toronto Argonauts.  Special team mistakes caused the Blue and Gold to lose what was supposed to be a definite win.  But in sports nothing is for sure.

The Bomber defence at time couldn’t have stopped a lame tortoise from scoring.  The offense was a little better but still wasn’t at all consistent.

Aside from the game the old football barn still has great sight lines and many very thirty fans.  The beer consumption was phenomenal.  Many people had two $7.50 beers and were drinking like there was no tomorrow.  It was hot and humid, maybe this led to the drinking frenzy.

 The old stadium is going to be replaced in 2012 by a new building on the U of Manitoba campus.  But this old barn does have great sight lines.


The old edifice, built sometime in the middle of the last century, will be missed.

Posted July 11, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Terrafugia Flying Car Approved by FAA, Will Be Available Next Year   Leave a comment

You will be able to drive your Flying Car from Winnipeg to St. Andrews airfield.  Take off and fly to Brandon, land at the airport, then drive to the Brandon Shoppers Mall without getting out of the vehicle.  The Mall is the only attraction I could think of in Brandon.♣

Late next year, you’ll be able to buy your own flying car — er, “roadable aircraft” — thanks to a thumbs-up from the Federal Aviation Administration. As long as you have $194,000 and a sport pilot license.

The agency approved the Transition plane-car this week, giving it a Light Sport Aircraft rating. The test prototype has been flying for about a year, but plane-maker Terrafugia will unveil its production-class plane next month at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual convention in Oshkosh, Wisc.

The Transition drives like a car, uses normal high-octane gasoline, has front-wheel-drive and even comes with airbags. Its fuel economy is about 30 miles per gallon. But unlike your Prius, it can unfold its wings and fly. You’ll only need a one-third of a mile strip for a runway, meaning you could conceivably use your own street. It is powered by a rear propeller and flies about 115 miles per hour.

The ideal customer is a sport pilot who gets tired of flying to regional regional airports only to have to wait for a cab, rent a car or use public transportation. Now he or she can just fold up the wings and motor on to the next errand.

 It won’t be ideal for cargo trips — it only holds about 460 pounds, including fuel and passengers — but for sport pilots on short jaunts, it’s a one-vehicle solution.

The Transition uses normal fuel, making it the greenest plane in the sky, Terrafugia says. And potentially one of the safest — if the weather turns bad, the plane can land and drive home instead.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 2, pilot and passenger
  • Payload: 430 lb (200 kg) ()
  • Length: 19 ft 2 in (5.8 m) ()
  • Wingspan: 27 ft 6 in (8.4 m) ()
  • Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.9 m) ()
  • Empty weight: 890 lb (400 kg) ()
  • Useful load: 430 lb (200 kg) ()
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,430 lb (650 kg) ()
  • Powerplant: 1× Rotax 912S, 100 hp (75 kW) @ 5800 rpm (max. 5 minutes), 95 hp (71 kW) @ 5500 rpm (continuous) ()
  • Propellers: Prince Aircraft Company, four-bladed “P-Tip”
  •  propeller, 1 per engine
  • Cockpit width: 51 in (1.3 m) at the shoulder
  • Fuel capacity: 20 US gal (76 L; 17 imp gal)
  • Length on road: 18 ft 9 in (5.7 m) with elevator up
  • Width on road: 80 in (2.0 m) with wings folded
  • Height on road: 6 ft 9 in (2.1 m)
  • Front wheel drive on road


  • Cruise speed: 100 kts (115 mph or 185 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 45 kts (51 mph or 82 km/h)
  • Range: In flight 400 nmi (460 mi; 740 km); on road 600 mi (520 nmi; 970 km) ()
  • Maximum speed on road: 65 mph (105 km/h)
  • Fuel economy in cruise flight: 5 US gal (19 L) per hour
  • Fuel economy on road: 30 mpg-US (7.8 L/100 km; 36 mpg-imp)
  • Certifications: Both FAA and FMVSS certifications planned

Posted July 10, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Flying sub prototypes may be just around the corner   1 comment

In the 1960’s there was a science fiction TV show called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.  The show centered around the crew aboard a huge nuclear powered submarine named the Seaview.  One of the more interesting features of the show was a mini flying sub that was housed in the nose of the Seaview.  This little sub could bolt away from the Seaview, propel itself through the water to the surface, and take to the skies.  Then land back on the water and go submersible and dock back up with the Seaview.♦


Americans love their high-technology gadgets.  And the military is often at the forefront when it comes to developing cutting edge high technology systems.  And believe it or not the U.S. military is looking into a real Flying Sub! 

Irwin Allen, the creator of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea would be very proud indeed.♦


GUILLEMOTS and gannets do it. Cormorants and kingfishers do it. Even the tiny insect-eating dipper does it. And if a plan by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) succeeds, a remarkable airplane may one day do it too: plunge beneath the waves to stalk its prey, before re-emerging to fly home.

The DARPA plan, announced in October 2008, calls for a stealthy aircraft that can fly low over the sea until it nears its target, which could be an enemy ship, or a coastal site such as a port. It will then alight on the water and transform itself into a submarine that will cruise under water to within striking distance, all without alerting defences.

That, at least, is the plan. The agency is known for taking on brain-twistingly difficult challenges. So what about DARPA’s dipper? Is it a ridiculous dream? “A few years ago I would have said that this is a silly idea,” says Graham Hawkes, an engineer and submarine designer based in San Francisco. “But I don’t think so any more.”

DARPA, which has a $3 billion annual budget, has begun to study proposed designs. In the next year or so it could begin allocating funding to developers. Though the agency itself is unwilling to comment, Hawkes and others working on rival designs have revealed to New Scientist how they would solve the key problems involved in building a plane that can travel under water – or, to put it another way, a flying submarine.

The challenges are huge, not least because planes and submarines are normally poles apart. Aircraft must be as light as possible to minimise the engine power they need to get airborne. Submarines are heavyweights with massive hulls strong enough to resist crushing forces from the surrounding water. Aircraft use lift from their wings to stay aloft, while submarines operate like underwater balloons, adjusting their buoyancy to sink or rise. So how can engineers balance the conflicting demands? Could a craft be designed to dive into the sea like a gannet? And how will it be propelled – is a jet engine the best solution, both above and below the waves?

Posted July 7, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Top Ten all-time NHL fighters   3 comments

Big Bad Bob Probert succumbed to a heart attack yesterday.  Proby was a tough fighter and a pretty good hockey player at times.  Many people think he was the best fighter of all time.  I tend to disagree.  Here is a list that I can agree with even though I didn’t see some of these guys fight.  But I have read about their pugilistic exploits on the ice♦


The lone Top 10 contender from the World Hockey Association was nicknamed “Seldom” for good reason. And he helped transform the Birmingham Bulls from doormats to demons. Small by heavyweight standards (five-foot-10, 190 pounds), Beaton was a bonafide bomber who could pummel an opponent non-stop for a full minute, then turn around and do the same to another one … and another one. The WHA was like that.



Like McSorely, “The Grim Reaper” was another tough guy whose fighting ability improved dramatically over the course of his career. Early on, he had no balance and was susceptible to shots from shorter, stockier foes. But after a couple of years in the league he bulked up and became a legitimate terror, notching multiple wins over fellow enforcers Enrico Ciccone, Shane Churla and Krystof Oliwa.   Stu was 6’6″ tall and weighed 240 pounds.



McSorley was one of the first NHLers to be tutored by a professional boxing trainer, and it paid off in spades. Early in his career he was more of a “slapper” and rarely put together effective combinations, but after being introduced to some fundamentals he became a much more patient and intelligent fighter, able to land big shots from any angle.



Brown joined the Philadelphia Flyers late in the 1982-83 season as Schultz’s heir apparent after amassing 418 penalty minutes in 70 games with the American Hockey League’s Maine Mariners. At six-foot-five and 225 pounds, he was usually bigger than the guys he beat up – but he did so with a combination of panache and fluid punching ability rarely seen before or since.



“The Hammer” was the leader of the infamous Broadstreet Bullies and the player most responsible for the “Philadelphia flu” that mysteriously infected visiting players during warmups at the old Spectrum. Schultz wasn’t overly huge – six-foot-one, 190 lbs. – but his broad shoulders and wide stance made him almost impossible to knock down, even with a clean shot. His favourite tactic was to simply wade in behind a flurry of two-handed punches and keep throwing until the zebras arrived.


5. BOB PROBERT (Tough)

Probert’s reputation was made in two memorable tilts with Tie Domi when the latter was with the Rangers, but perhaps his greatest performance was Feb. 4, 1994 when he fought Pittsburgh’s Marty McSorely in a 100-second war at Joe Louis Arena. Halfway through, a single punch knocked the 230-pound McSorely to his knees – but the feisty Penguin regained his feet and won grudging respect from the appreciative crowd for continuing to throw long after he was beaten.



The first captain of the Vancouver Canucks was given a wide berth by everyone because his unusually long reach and quick fists spelled disaster. Kurtenbach was a master at luring opponents inside to try to tag him, for which he inevitably made them pay by landing the best uppercuts the NHL has ever seen.


3. DAVE SEMENKO (Kept Gretz Alive)

Wayne Gretzky’s personal bodyguard would have been a force to contend with in any era. Big, incredibly strong and surprisingly mobile on his skates in the close confines of a fight, his specialty was getting an iron grip on the other guy’s sweater and then pumping jackhammer jabs to the face to render him senseless. It worked every time. Semenko was so good, in fact, that he acquitted himself admirably in a three-round exhibition with Muhammad Ali at Northlands Coliseum on June 13, 1983. Ali was only five years removed from being heavyweight champion of the world and took the exhibition quite seriously.


2. JOHN FERGUSON (Yep Jr’s. Dad)

Ferguson, who learned to fight while carving out a reputation as one of Canada’s best – and most vicious – lacrosse players, had just eight years in the NHL, all with the Montreal Canadiens. But his mile-wide mean streak and ability to throw bombs with both hands made him the league’s No. 2 heavyweight (behind Howe) throughout his career. He also had the God-given toughness to keep winging power punches while shaking off the cleanest shots from his foes.


1. GORDIE HOWE (Simply no question here)

Arguably the greatest forward in the history of the game, Mr. Hockey was also – indisputably – the best fighter.

Forget about different eras, bigger guys, improved training and conditioning. In terms of pure fighting ability, Howe was the real deal – head and shoulders above the rest.

Not surprisingly, many of the ingredients that made this six-foot, 205-lb. strongman such a superb player also elevated his fistic prowess. The balance that made him almost impossible to knock down during the ebb and flow of a game never failed him when he shed the gloves. But the two most devastating weapons in his arsenal were an un teachable ability to concentrate maximum force in every punch, and the single-minded killer instinct of a shark.

Posted July 7, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The mini houses of Winnipeg’s North End   Leave a comment

The area of Winnipeg known as the North End has a distinct character all its own.  Today it is mainly known for its violence and large distinct cultural groups.  Over the past few decades a large Aboriginal population has been established.  But going back to the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the North End was home to large Eastern European groups.  And it is still this way today.

Many people of Polish, Ukrainian, Jewish and German heritage settled in the North End.  Winnipeg was becoming an industrial city 100 years ago and many of the previously mentioned groups worked in the blue collar labour force.  Wages weren’t high back then and therefore workers could not afford the large houses that were being built in the southern part of the city.  So the people built smaller houses in the North End on streets such as Redwood, Boyd and Flora.  Many were built from 1905-1920.  And most are still in use today.  Some are no more than 440 square feet.  The same size as a small apartment.  But at least the hard working North Enders could be proud of owning their own houses.♦





Posted July 5, 2010 by markosun in Uncategorized

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