Archive for April 2016

Airplanes   Leave a comment


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Incredible Military Aircraft and Weapons Systems

ELMENDORF AFB, Alaska -- Four F-15C pilots from the 3rd Wing step to their respective jets July 5 for the fini flight of Maj. Andrea “Gunna” Misener, 19th Figher Squadron, pictured far left. To her right are Capt. Jammie “Trix” Jamieson of the 12th Fighter Squadron, Maj. Carey “Mamba” Jones, 19th Fighter Squadron, and Capt. Samantha “Combo” Weeks, 12th Fighter Squadron. When Maj. Misener worked out who would be joining her in her four-ship fini flight, it became apparent there was a probable first in the Eagle community. Despite the growing number of females who have joined the ranks of fighter pilots since the career opened up to women in 1993, an all-female four-ship had not been accomplished in the F-15C before. “It was a great flight,” said Maj. Misener after her final flight at Elmendorf. “We killed all the bandits and protected the target area. There were no Eagle losses.” The major says she will miss her flying squadron, as she moves on to new challenges at the year-long Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington D.C. (photo by Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle pilots based out of Alaska.

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Posted April 23, 2016 by markosun in Aircraft

The Heavyweight Cattle Breed of The World   Leave a comment


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The Chianina is an Italian breed of cattle, formerly principally a draught breed, now raised mainly for beef. It is the largest and one of the oldest cattle breeds in the world. The famous bistecca alla fiorentina (‘beefsteak Florentine style’) is produced from its meat.

One of the oldest breeds of cattle, the Chianina originates in the area of the Valdichiana, from which it takes its name, and the middle Tiber valley. Chianina cattle have been raised in the Italian regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio for at least 2200 years.

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The Chianina is both the tallest and the heaviest breed of cattle. Mature bulls stand up to 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in), and castrated oxen may reach 2 m (6 ft 7 in). It is not unusual for bulls to exceed 1,600 kg (3,500 lb) in weight. Males standing over 1.51 m (4 ft 11 in) at 12 months are considered top-grade. A Chianina bull named Donetto holds the world record for the heaviest bull, reported by one source as 1,740 kg (3,840 lb) when exhibited at the Arezzo show in 1955, but as 1,780 kg (3,920 lb) and 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) tall at the age of 8 by others including the Tenuta La Fratta, near Sinalunga in the province of Siena, where he was bred. Cows usually weigh 800–900 kg (1,800–2,000 lb), but commonly exceed 1,000 kg (2,200 lb); those standing over 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in) are judged top-grade. Calves routinely weigh over 50 kg (110 lb) at birth. The coat of the Chianina is white; very slight grey shading round the eyes and on the foreparts is tolerated. The skin, muzzle, switch, hooves and the tips of the horns are black.

At the end of 2010 there were 47,236 head registered in Italy, of which more than 90% were in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio; it is, after the Marchigiana, the second indigenous beef breed of Italy.

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Don’t want one these beasts to get agitated when you are nearby.

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Their history as draft animals means that Chianinas were bred for docile temperaments, as they had to work closely with people. That good disposition is important in a cow as large as the Chianina.

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Posted April 22, 2016 by markosun in Agriculture, Animals

How Our World Would Look If You Were A Bird   Leave a comment


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Barcelona
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Central Park, New York City
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Venice
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Amsterdam
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Giza Pyramids, Egypt
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Niagara Falls
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Namib Desert, Namibia
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Chicago
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Shanghai
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Cape Town, South Africa
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Moscow
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Vancouver
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Seattle
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Bac Son Valley, Vietnam
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Posted April 22, 2016 by markosun in World

Old people holding up check out lines   2 comments


Waiting in the line-up at the grocery store and a little old lady is at the front going through her change purse looking for the exact amount of money to pay her bill.  She unwittingly holds up the line for four minutes.  What is it with humans that when they turn 75 years old they have to pay for everything with the exact change?

The countless man hours lost to this old age affliction is enormous.  Society loses thousands of man hours as we wait for the old goats to dig through their purses and find that $2.87 exactly.  Are they scared that when they die there will be hundreds of dollars of unused change in their bedroom drawers?  An Old Lady will stipulate in her will that the children will have to dig up a metal box buried behind the barn and use the change in it to pay for the funeral.

Get on with it you old frail senior citizens and pass the clerk a ten-dollar bill!

I think it’s a remnant from before cash registers made change. These senior citizens started out in life bartering a hen for a bag of sugar or a knitted head scarf that took them a month to make for a 10 pound slab of lard. Money was so hard to get in the dirty thirties that they would spend their evenings counting and re-counting the household pennies and nickels. Change was regarded as the most important thing a person could possess, so why waste perfectly good change if you don’t have to?

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This one is going home on her scooter to get the correct change for her hearing aid battery.

Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Economics

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City Images   Leave a comment


Winnipeg late April 2016

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Winnipeg’s White House

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The Rivers are typically high this time of year

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The unique SM-33 condo building is progressing

 

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April 20 2016

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Convention Centre expansion is complete, the structure now is ready for the big events.

 

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The building is over 300 metres long and has 260,000 square feet of convention space.

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Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Winnipeg

Stacy Keach shares a Joint with an Iguana   Leave a comment


From the 1981 Cheech & Chong flick Nice Dreams

 

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Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Animals, Movies

Prince down for the count at age 57   Leave a comment


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Prince was a huge pop star who broke through in the mid eighties. And not a pussy pop star, this guy could scintillate with the guitar and had a raunchy edge to his music.

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Prince Party Like It’s 1999

Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Music

Marijuana legislation coming to Canada next spring   Leave a comment


Toronto Star

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OTTAWA—On a day when thousands of people were preparing to gather in the sunshine on the lawn of Parliament Hill for the annual celebration of cannabis culture — and smoke a little, too, in plain view of the police — the Liberal government formally announced its plans to legalize and regulate marijuana.

“We know it is impossible to arrest our way out of this problem,” Health Minister Jane Philpott said Wednesday in New York during an impassioned speech to the United Nations General Assembly at a special session on global drug policy.

The timing of the announcement on April 20 — or 420, as pot activists and connoisseurs call this calendar day — was a coincidence, more than one government source insisted, but still a fitting day to reveal plans to make good on a major campaign promise to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana.

The legislation to be introduced next spring and the regulations that follow it will be designed to keep marijuana away from both children and organized crime, said Philpott, whose speech drew upon her experience as a doctor in Africa as she spoke about the impacts of ineffective drug policies.

“While this plan challenges the status quo in many countries, we are convinced it is the best way to protect our youth while enhancing public safety,” Philpott said.

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The Liberal government will be launching a task force within the next few weeks to closely examine and evaluate every aspect of their goal to legalize, regulate and restrict access to marijuana, as well as give the government advice on designing the new system.

“We will task them with a very specific set of questions around how it will be produced, where it will be accessed and sold and around questions of taxation,” Philpott told the CBC in an interview from New York.

The draft regulations, which will govern everything from standards for packaging and labeling to exactly how to prevent it from being sold to minors, will be open to comment from Canadians.

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A Canadian flag with a cannabis leaf flies on Parliament Hill during a 4/20 protest, Monday, April 20, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

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The Canadian health minister unveiled the timeline to legalize marijuana at the United Nations, where she acknowledged the change would “challenge the status quo” in many places around the world. It actually goes further than that: legalizing marijuana will go against three global treaties on drugs Canada has signed onto over the years.

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The Liberals campaigned on a promise to legalize marijuana, so they have the mandate – and the majority government – to get it done. But that does not mean their political rivals will not be trying to score as many points as possible from Canadians who may not be as warm to these plans.

Charges and convictions

What about people being punished for something that is about to be legal? The C.D. Howe Institute published a policy paper arguing the Liberal government should think about pardoning people who have been convicted of marijuana possession, as well as drop any charges for same, in order to save money that could be redirected towards legalization efforts.

No breathalyzer for marijuana

The maximum legal blood-alcohol level for fully licensed drivers in Canada is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which can be estimated during a road stop using a breath sample. There is no similar instrument for measuring impairment from pot, and what is more, the reaction people have to it can vary widely from person to person.

 

Colorado and Washington State have legalized cannabis

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Native Americans have embraced the idea of legalization. They contend they could grow and sell marijuana on reserves at discount prices.

 

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Uruguay has fully legalized cannabis laws

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Posted April 21, 2016 by markosun in Drugs, Politics

From Unclogging Toilets to Hunting Ghosts   Leave a comment


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I try to watch Ghost Hunters from time to time. I’m an open-minded person who doesn’t readily dismiss anything.  But nothing ever happens on this show. The hunters claim they hear and see things, but nothing is ever captured on audio or video. Just wishful thinking.

Ghosts may exist, although I contend it is highly unlikely, and if they do, lets get some hardcore empirical evidence. Bring in Kreskin, whatever it takes.

Ghost Hunters is an American paranormal reality television series that premiered on October 6, 2004, on Syfy (previously the Sci Fi Channel). The program features paranormal investigators Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, who investigate places that are reported to be haunted. The two originally worked as plumbers for Roto-Rooter as a day job while investigating locations at night. Since the show’s success, the series now takes precedence in their lives, but they are still honorary employees with the company and continue to do jobs for them if time permits.

In a much maligned photo taken near Roswell, New Mexico, the Boys claim they experienced the presence of an Alien Ghost in Jim Brazil’s house.

 

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The whole connection between ghosts and Roto-Rooter started when one of their co-workers sucked up a malevolent spectre from a sewer a few years ago.

 

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Criticism

Ghost Hunters has attracted various critics and skeptics, such as Joe Nickell of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer author Lynne Kelly, James Randi, and Benjamin Radford. The Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society (SAPS) was founded with the intent to recreate and debunk segments of the show.

In June 2008, Ghost Hunters was awarded The Truly Terrible Television (TTTV) Award by Independent Investigations Group for peddling pseudoscience and superstition to its audience.

Methodology

According to investigator Benjamin Radford, most ghost hunting groups including TAPS make many methodological mistakes. “After watching episodes of Ghost Hunters and other similar programs, it quickly becomes clear to anyone with a background in science that the methods used are both illogical and unscientific”. Anyone can be a ghost investigator, “failing to consider alternative explanations for anomalous … phenomena”, considering emotions and feelings as “evidence of ghostly encounters.” “Improper and unscientific investigation methods”, for example, “using unproven tools and equipment”, “sampling errors”, “ineffectively using recording devices” and “focusing on the history of the location…and not the phenomena.” In an article for Skeptical Inquirer, Radford concludes that ghost hunters should care about doing a truly scientific investigation: “I believe that if ghosts exist, they are important and deserve to be taken seriously. Most of the efforts to investigate ghosts so far have been badly flawed and unscientific — and not surprisingly, fruitless.” In a New York Times article about Ghost Hunters and TAPS, Radford contended that “the group and others like it lack scientific rigor and mislead people into thinking that their homes are haunted.”

The show’s editing has been questioned, such as activity that is not captured on tape and findings that are unsupported by evidence in the show specifically. Tools are used in ways that are not proven effective, or in ways in which they have been proven ineffective, such as infrared thermometers that are claimed to detect cold spots in the middle of rooms when such tools are able only to measure the surface temperature of objects unless equipped with a probe accessory. However, the show has been seen using a probe attached to the infrared thermometer that would then give the temperature of both the surface it is pointed at and the area around the probe.

Techniques with thermal imaging cameras, Geiger counters, electronic voice phenomenon, and EMF detectors are used with little or no explanation as to how the techniques have proven to provide evidence of ghosts or other entities. There are concerns that the devices are misused, such as the noting of Benjamin Radford’s article for Skeptical Inquirer: “you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Just as using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.”

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Why can’t these plumbers/ghost hunters get something like this on camera?

 

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Posted April 20, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

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Southern Plantation Mansions in the U.S.   Leave a comment


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The era of plantation mansion construction in the U.S. South ran roughly from the 1770’s until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1860. The rich plantation owners (farmers that had more than 50 slaves) grew a variety of crops which were for the most part exported to Europe. The main crop however was cotton. The plantation owners built big houses, many of which fall into the category of mansions.

The Cotton Belt

 

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In colonial Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, the earliest plantation houses tended to follow British-derived folk forms such as the hall and parlor house-type and central-passage house-type.

Grander structures during the later colonial period usually conformed to the neoclassically-influenced Georgian and Palladian styles, although some very early and rare Jacobean structures survive in Virginia. Following the Revolutionary War, Federal and Jeffersonian-type neoclassicism became dominant in formal plantation architecture.

When the cotton boom years began in the 1830s, the United States was entering its second neoclassical phase, with Greek Revival architecture being the dominant style. By this point trained architects were also becoming more common, and several introduced the style to the South. Whereas the earlier Federal and Jeffersonian neoclassicism displayed an almost feminine lightness, academic Greek Revival was very masculine, with a heaviness not seen in the earlier styles.

Greek Revival would remain a favorite architectural style in the agrarian South until well after the Civil War, but other styles had appeared in the nation about the same time as Greek Revival or soon afterward. These were primarily the Italianate and Gothic Revival. They were slower to be adopted in whole for domestic plantation architecture, but they can be seen in a fusion of stylistic influences. Houses that were basically Greek Revival in character sprouted Italianate towers, bracketed eaves, or adopted the asymmetrical massing characteristic of that style.

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Millford Plantation, South Carolina

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Destrehan, Louisiana

plant Oriental Villa mansion, Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi.

Longwood, in Natchez, Mississippi

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Gaineswood, in Demopolis, Alabama

plant1 Bowie, Maryland

Bowie, Maryland

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Posted April 20, 2016 by markosun in Buildings, History