Archive for April 2011

Red River Valley inundated by floodwater again   Leave a comment

It has become an annual ritual that the central Red River Valley gets very high water every spring.  Always a problem for transportation and the small towns that dot the province south of Winnipeg.

Above is a farm near St. Jean Baptiste.  The house looks dry.



Posted April 21, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Some engineers have too much time on their hands   1 comment

The Goodyear Inflatoplane was an experimental aircraft made by the Goodyear Aircraft Company, a subsidiary of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, well known for the Goodyear blimp. Although it seemed an improbable project, the finished aircraft proved to be capable of meeting its design objectives although its sponsor, the United States Army, ultimately cancelled the project when it could not find a “valid military use for an aircraft that could be brought down by a well-aimed bow and arrow.”

The original concept of an all-fabric inflatable aircraft was based on Taylor McDaniel inflatable rubber glider experiments in 1931. Designed and built in only 12 weeks, the Goodyear Inflatoplane was built in 1956, with the idea that it could be used by the military as a rescue plane to be dropped in a hardened container behind enemy lines. The 44 cubic ft (1.25 cubic meter) container could also be transported by truck, jeep trailer or aircraft.  The inflatable surface of this aircraft was actually a sandwich of two rubber-type materials connected by a mesh of nylon threads, forming an I-beam. When the nylon was exposed to air, it absorbed and repelled water as it stiffened, giving the aircraft its shape and rigidity. Structural integrity was retained in flight with forced air being continually circulated by the aircraft’s motor.

Posted April 15, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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China bans time travel   1 comment

China bans time travel for television
Posted by: business producer, Kevin Voigt

Hong Kong, China (CNN) – China has been cracking down on dissent of late, as the recent detainment of artist Ai Weiwei suggests.

But the latest guidance on television programming from the State Administration of Radio Film and Television in China borders on the surreal – or, rather, an attack against the surreal.

New guidelines issued on March 31 discourages plot lines that contain elements of “fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking.”

“The government says … TV dramas shouldn’t have characters that travel back in time and rewrite history. They say this goes against Chinese heritage,” reports CNN’s Eunice Yoon. “They also say that myth, superstitions and reincarnation are all questionable.”

The Chinese censors seem to be especially sensitive these days. But for the television and film industry, such strictures would seem to eliminate any Chinese version of “Star Trek,” “The X-Files,” “Quantum Leap” or “Dr. Who.”  And does that mean rebroadcast of huge Hollywood moneymakers like “Back to the Future” and the “Terminator” series are now forbidden?

 These guidelines will certainly add a creative challenge to Chinese writers, producers and directors.’s Dean Irvine wondered how some classic time travel films might be re-imagined minus the time travel:

“Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”

Two California dudes meet a strange man who used to be a stand-up comic and who directs them to a phone box near the Circle K. They don’t travel back in time to find answers for their end of year report; instead the pair make crank calls for 90 minutes and flunk out of school. Wyld Stallyns remain a crap garage band.

“Back to the Future”

Poor Marty McFly, no “Enchantment Under the Sea” dance for him – instead he gets caught up in a local eccentric’s plutonium smuggling ring. After witnessing his death at the hands of terrorists, McFly is forced to change his identity and move away from Hill Valley. (At least he escapes his Oedipal complex.)

“The Time Traveler’s Wife”

Despite being told not to talk to strangers, a young Clare Abshire meets a peculiar naked man when out playing in the fields near her family’s country estate.  A traumatizing experience, she grows up only able to have dysfunctional relationships with men who have a nasty habit of disappearing or running away from her.

“12 monkeys”

Bruce Willis doesn’t travel back to Baltimore from a Terry Gilliam post-apocalyptic future – he is just a loony.

Posted April 15, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Fox News Channel booting Beck out the backdoor   1 comment

Good riddance to this Cretin. I tried to watch his show again last night. Within minutes he was ranting about the Founding Fathers which he somehow correlated with the World Trade Center tower collapse. Once he hit his blackboard I flipped the channel to Bugs Bunny. 

And now Fox has had enough.  Did Sarah have something to do with it?

Was Glenn Beck fired? Or did he quit his Fox News show? If you listen to Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, you might be confused about what happened.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Ailes was very ambiguous as he talked about Beck’s departure from his daily program, which will occur later in the year.

“Half of the headlines say he’s been canceled,” Ailes said. “The other half say he quit. We’re pretty happy with both of them.”

He also seemed to imply that Beck’s show might have been getting a little tired.

“We felt Glenn brought additional information, a unique perspective, a certain amount of passion and insight to the channel and he did,” Ailes said. “But that story of what’s going on and why America is in trouble today, I think he told that story as well as could be told. Whether you can just keep telling that story or not … we’re not so sure.”

But he stressed that he will continue to work with Beck. “We like each other,” he said.

Beck was a quick burn on Fox News Channel. Almost immediately after joining the network in January 2009, he doubled the ratings at his afternoon time slot. Fans found his conservative populism entertaining, while Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert described Beck’s “crank up the crazy and rip off the knob” moments.

He was popular with Tea Party activists and drew thousands of people to the National Mall in Washington last August for a “restoring honor” rally.

Yet some of his statements were getting him in trouble, and critics appealed to advertisers to boycott his show last summer after Beck said President Barack Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people.”

More than 400 Fox advertisers told the company they did not want their commercials on Beck’s show. Beck’s advertisers were dominated by financial services firms, many touting gold as an investment.

Ailes dismissed the financial impact of the boycott but expressed some frustration with it.

“Advertisers who get weak-kneed because some idiot on a blog site writes to them and says we need to stifle speech, I get a little frustrated by that,” he said.

One of Beck’s most prominent critics — David Brock, founder of the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America — said that “the only surprise is that it took Fox News months to reach this decision.”

“Fox News Channel clearly understands that Beck’s increasingly erratic behavior is a liability to their ratings and their bottom line, and we are glad to see them take this action,” said James Rucker, executive director of, which organized the advertiser boycott.

Beck was a lightning rod for other critics, as well. The Jewish Funds for Justice organized a petition drive last fall to get Beck fired for what it called his misuse of Nazis and the Holocaust phrases against political opponents.

Viewers had begun turning away. Beck’s 5 p.m. ET show averaged 2.7 million viewers during the first three months of 2010, and was at just under 2 million for the same period this year, the Nielsen Co. said. His decline was sharper among younger viewers sought by advertisers.

Increasingly, the show began to be dominated by Beck standing in front of a chalk board giving his theories about the world’s troubles.

Posted April 8, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Don’t let your babies grow up to be Cat Herders   1 comment


Posted April 6, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The Ramones Touring   Leave a comment

The Ramones were an American rock band that formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York in 1974, often cited as the first punk rock group.  Despite achieving only limited commercial success, the band was a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

All of the band members adopted pseudonyms ending with the surname “Ramone”, though none of them were related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years.  In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell concert and disbanded.  By a little more than eight years after the breakup, the band’s three founding members—lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone—had died.

Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania.  However, recognition of the band’s importance built over the years, and they are now cited in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone list of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time  and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.  In 2002, the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, trailing only The Beatles.  On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Marky and Tommy Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In 2011 the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  Johnny Ramone is regarded as one of the best rock guitarists of all time. 

The Ramones Touring watch on YouTube:

Touring Lyrics.

Well, we’ve been to London and we’ve been to L.A. Spain, New Zealand, and the U.S.A.
Europe, Japan, and Pango-Pango Canada, Siam, Oz and Kamoto

The kids all come from miles around
The party gets started when the sun goes down
A Holiday Inn’s the only home I know

Rock-n-roll’s alive ’cause we got the power baby
Crusing down the highway at 500 miles an hour baby

We got a fuel-injected tour bus, man it really flies
With a video tape deck inside

Let’s go, rock-n-roll, everybody c’mon
Let’s go, rock-n-roll, everybody c’mon now

Touring, touring, is never boring Touring, touring, is never boring
Touring, touring, is never boring Touring, touring, oh baby, touring
Especially with your favorite girl Touring, touring, all around the world

Well we’ve been around this great big world
And we’ve met all kinds of guys and girls
From Kamoto Islands to Rockaway Beach
No, it’s not hard, not far to reach

American girls knock me out, ya know
Fast cars, cold beer, and rock-n-roll
America is the only home I know

Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go 500 miles to Mexico
Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go 200 miles to Tokyo
Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go Let’s go

Drive, drive, drive the night away
Straight on through to the break of day
Drive, drive, drive the night away
Well, it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood

Touring, touring, is never boring Touring, touring, is never boring
Touring, touring, is never boring Touring, touring, oh baby, touring
Especially with your favorite girl now
Touring touring, all around the world Touring touring, all around the world
Touring touring, all around the world

On September 15, 2004, Johnny Ramone died in his Los Angeles home at age 55 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.  Many of his friends and musical contemporaries came to pay their respects. After his death, his remains were cremated.  A cenotaph was built in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, near the gravesite of former bandmate Dee Dee Ramone, who died of a heroin overdose in 2002.

Dee Dee Ramone was found dead on the evening of June 5, 2002, by his wife Barbara at his Hollywood, California apartment. An autopsy established heroin overdose as the official cause of death. He had been booked to play a show at the Ventura Theatre, which ended up being a memorial show in his honor.

Joey Ramone died of lymphoma at New York-Presbyterian Hospital on April 15, 2001, after a seven-year battle.  He was reportedly listening to the song “In a Little While” by U2 when he died.  This was during U2’s Elevation Tour, and from that point on during shows Bono would introduce the song as a tune that was originally about a lovestruck hangover but that Joey turned it into a gospel song.

Joey is the tall lead singer, Johnny the lead guitarist usually to the right of Joey and Dee Dee the bassist usually to the left of Joey.

Posted April 6, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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New British aircraft carriers to have unique dual island design   1 comment

The Queen Elizabeth class supercarriers (formerly the CV Future or CVF project) are a two-ship class of aircraft carrier being built for the Royal Navy. HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter service in 2020 and HMS Prince of Wales is expected to initially be kept in a state of “extended readiness” after completion.

The vessels will displace approximately 65,600 tonnes each, over three times the displacement of the current Invincible class. They will be the largest warships ever built in the UK and the most capable aircraft carriers outside of the U.S. Navy.  Nothing of the scale has been proposed for the Royal Navy since the cancelled 1960s CVA-01 programme. Giving evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee, the First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West explained that interoperability with the United States Navy was a factor in deciding of the size of the carriers as the firepower of the carrier’s airwing:

[for a] deep strike package, we have done …quite detailed calculations and we have come out with the figure of 36 joint strike fighters …that is the thing that has made us arrive at that size of deck and that size of ship, to enable that to happen.I have talked with the CNO (Chief of Naval Operations) in America. He is very keen for us to get these because he sees us slotting in with his carrier groups. He really wants us to have these, but he wants us to have the same sort of clout as one of their carriers.


The design features two small island structures, one devoted to ship navigation, and the other to air operations. This allows optimal placement of bridges for both tasks: navigation calls for a bridge placed forward (as on the Charles De Gaulle), while air operations are made easier with a bridge placed abaft (as seen on the US Gerald R. Ford class aircraft carrier). Two deck lifts will be used, both on the starboard side.


General characteristics
Displacement: 65,600 metric tons (72,300 short tons) (full load)
Length: 284 metres (932 ft)
Beam: 39 metres (128 ft) (waterline)
73 m (240 ft) overall
Draught: 11 metres (36 ft)
Decks: 16,000 square metres (170,000 sq ft)
Speed: Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km)
Capacity: 1,450
Complement: 600
Armament: provisional space for CIWS or Aster missiles, currently unknown
Aircraft carried: Maximum 40 depending on mission could include a mixture of:

  • 36-40 F-35 Lightning II
  • 4 Airborne early-warning aircraft
  • 12 Chinook
  • 12 Merlin
  • 8 Apache















Posted April 6, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Top Secret United States flying saucers?   4 comments

Are some of the strange circular UFOs sighted actually craft developed by the U.S. military?


The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Aircraft Ltd. (Canada) as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War.  The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single “turborotor” blowing exhaust out the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft to provide anticipated VTOL-like performance. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer. Two prototypes were built as “proof-of-concept” test vehicles for a more advanced USAF fighter and also for a U.S. Army tactical combat aircraft requirement.  In flight testing, the Avrocar proved to have unresolved thrust and stability problems that limited it to a degraded, low-performance flight envelope; subsequently, the project was cancelled in September 1961.

Through the history of the program, the project was referred to by a number of different names. Avro referred to the efforts as Project Y, with individual vehicles known as Spade and Omega. Project Y-2 was later funded by the US Air Force, who referred to it as WS-606A, Project 1794 and Project Silver Bug. When the US Army joined the efforts it took on its final name “Avrocar”, and the designation “VZ-9”, part of the US Army’s VTOL projects in the VZ series.

They say the project was cancelled.  But was it really?  These projects can operate in total secrecy as the F-117 stealth fighter and B-2 Spirit stealth bomber programs demonstrated.  These aircraft were war ready when they were finally revealed to the public.

Did the U.S. military misinform the public about the cancellation of the project?  Did they then continue on with the development of United States flying saucers?  The pictures below makes one wonder.













Posted April 5, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Italian police motorcycle display team from the 1950’s   1 comment

Vintage precision motorcycle maneuvers from the 1950’s in Italy.

Posted April 5, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Bigfoot photographed scanning the skies for UFOs   Leave a comment

A Sasquatch was photographed by a hiker who was following up on a UFO sighting in Oregon. The big hairy creature appeared to be doing the same thing as the hiker, looking for the UFO.

Pictures below:



After not seeing a UFO a disappointed looking Sasquatch was seen ambling down the mountain.

April Fools Day.

Posted April 2, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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