Archive for October 2011

A tribute to the combine   1 comment


Today is Thanksgiving, and the meaning of the holiday is to celebrate the bounty of the earth, the harvest.  The most integral part of the harvest today is the combine.  And there are many variations when it comes to these giant machines.  They come in all colours and sizes.  The pictures below illustrate this. 


A combine from many years ago


Another old one.  No cab for the driver.  The driver would have to sit in the dust and chaff for many hours at a time.




Sometimes the beasts operate in packs

















Posted October 11, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The history of the MGM Lion   Leave a comment


“Since 1924, there have been around five different lions used for the MGM logo”

– Wikipedia








Slats (1916-1928)



Jackie (1928-1956; black and white)


Coffee (1932-1935; Technicolor tests)


Tanner (1934-1956; Technicolor)


George (1956-1958)


Leo (1957-today)



Posted October 10, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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The New York Times does a major piece on Jets return to Winnipeg in Sunday edition   Leave a comment

Even the venerable New York Times is in on the sports story that is capturing the imagination of many people in North America.  The paper has had a news team in Winnipeg for the past week setting up the story in todays edition.

Click on link below:

Posted October 10, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Afghanistan 10 years later   1 comment

It has been 10 years since the current war in Afghanistan has been waged.  Not a lot has really changed in those years.  The north of the country and the capital Kabul have been freed from Taliban control. But the south and east is still highly infiltrated by the Taliban. The Taliban are mostly made up of the Pashtun ethnic group.  And although Taliban losses have been very high, there are an estimated 27-30 million Pashtuns living in neighbouring Pakistan.  Many Taliban fighters come from Pakistan.  They have sanctuary there as the Pakistani army just can’t seem to control the cross border movement of fighters.  So the Taliban basically have an unlimited supply of fighters.  The Americans cannot stop the flow and kill enough Pakistani Taliban to ever win a decisive victory.

It is estimated the Taliban have suffered over 25,000 fatalities so far in the war. However, the actual number of Taliban killed could be greatly higher than the one given here. The Taliban bury their dead quickly and this prevents an accurate body count for them. But, at the same time, these numbers are from news agencies who received the information from ground commanders and they are not official NATO/Coalition counts for the number of Taliban that were killed. 1.

The U.S. and its allies are planning to pull out of Afghanistan completely by the end of 2012.  U.S. troop losses have greatly increased in the last 3 years.  Taliban insurgents have become very adept at using the roadside bomb (IED).  Afghanistan has very few paved roads and hiding the bombs is easy and simple.  They use pressure plates to detonate the bombs, and simple fertilizer mixtures to make the bombs, both of these are hard to detect.

The U.S. has lost 1,800 dead soldiers so far.  The U.S. allies have lost 952 so far, including 382 British and 157 Canadian service personnel. 2.  So the U.S. and its allies are going to cut and run.  Kabul and the north should be okay as the U.S. will keep air power in the area, and if the Taliban masses its fighters for a large attack on the capital, they would be decimated.  The Afghan security forces who oppose the Taliban insurgents are now large and well armed.  The Afghan National Army consists of 164,000 troops.

The U.S. leadership 10 years ago should have realized this would not be an easy military campaign.  The Russians suffered 16,000 dead in 9 years and had to cut and run after their military jaunt into the Afghan mountains.  The British were beaten 200 years ago.  Even Alexander The Great could not deal with the Afghan tribesmen.  The Bush administration should have realized there were other ways to deal with Al Qaeda and its leadership after 9/11.  They did not have to invade a whole country.  But emotion was high at the time, and the Taliban did give refuge to Bin Laden and his fellow religious zealots.

But in the forseeable future Afghanistan will almost certainly experience more war and despair.  And it will remain a divided and very troubled land.















1. Bakhtar News Agency.


Posted October 9, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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What did Steve Jobs really do?   8 comments

What did the hero Steve Jobs really do?  He miniaturized the computer (PC).  That is all friends, nothing more.  Jobs created devices that basically had no practical importance, and people went crazy over them.  Young ladies walking down the streets staring into their devices texting nothing important, thanks Steve.  People sitting at their breaks with a slightly bigger device checking football standings, thanks Steve.  Humanity, you got to wonder!    And the addiction that these devices have created is astounding.  Crack cocaine has nothing on this stuff.  Think about it people.  What good is this technology?  Total triviality, nothing more.


Rest in peace Steve, but thanks for killing human interaction.  What a great man.





Posted October 7, 2011 by markosun in Uncategorized

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