AFTERNOON EYE CANDY

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The US Is No Longer Trusted Throughout The World.

Other nations no longer trust the United States.   Even our Arab allies no longer trust the United States to keep their military secrets from falling into the hands of those like the Iranians.   After all, in an act of revenge, Obama just released Israel’s nuclear capabilities to the world.   The world may have “knew” Israel had nuclear capabilities but there was never an official confirmation until now.    If we would do that to one of our supposed close allies, it’s no wonder those allies, like Arab nations, who aren’t so close to us would no longer trust us.   The US didn’t know about Saudi Arabia attacking Yemen until it happened as they didn’t trust us, as the video points out, to tell us in advance.

Also, notice this is MSNBC reporting this; not FOX, but MSNBC who worships Obama.  Things have gotten so bad with our foreign policy that even they can no longer ignore it.

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CACTUS FLOWERS CAUGHT BLOOMING

You’d be doing yourself a dis-service by not watching this full screen.

It is awesome!

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YOUR AFTERNOON MUSIC BREAK

BROOKS AND DUNN: “NEON MOON”
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YOU’VE GOT TO HAVE SERIOUS BALLS TO PULL THIS OFF

And few have ever done it. Most have died trying.

The “touch-roll-touch”

The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, also known as the “Missile With A Man In It,” is known for many things. It was the first operational mach two capable fighter, it was designed by the legendary Kelly Johnson and served with 15 nations for almost 50 years. One thing it is not known for is its slow-speed handling.

That is precisely why doing the Touch-Roll-Touch maneuver in it was so amazing. The story goes that this stunt was the product of a legendary Belgian Air Force F-104G pilot and member of their national aerobatic display team, the Siviers, Bill Ongena. Ongena did what no test pilot would try, especially in the sleek and high-speed optimized F-104 Starfighter. He could perform a touch and go, do a full roll and land on the same runway. He called this the “Touch-Roll-Touch” and it was a huge hit with anyone lucky enough to see it in person.

Bill was the first of a small cadre of pilots that ever attempted this ultra-intense maneuver, of which many are said to have died trying. Warbird News has an interesting piece about it that includes some quotes from a group of F-104 pilots who describe the notorious maneuver and underline just how terrifying it really was. One pilot, Ferry Van Der Geest, stated:

This famous touch-roll-touch was only performed in Belgium (note: apparently an American pilot died trying it and other pilots from other air forces did it or died trying to do it as well), one day a pilot had an afterburner (AB) blow-out and he crashed on the second touch, killing himself in the process. It is an extremely dangerous maneuver with no room for error whatsoever. The average touchdown speed is at around 175 knots and the use of AB is totally mandatory. So far no one has ever did something like this afterwards.

Another pilot, Wolfgang Czaia, said:

“This one shows Belgian Air Force pilot Bill Ongena doing the so-called ‘Touch-Roll-Touch’, but other pilots of other air forces have done it as well. He approaches the runway with gear and take-off flaps extended, touches down briefly, applies full power and pulls up to about 50 feet while initiating a roll on his upward trajectory. Then comes a power reduction, possibly speed brake extension to slow down, and descent to another touch-and-go. With the landing gear down, full aileron travel (20°) is available, producing a sufficiently good rate to complete a 360° roll without the nose dropping dangerously low. (With landing gear up, the aileron throw is only 10°). It was strictly a “show” maneuver to demonstrate the controllability of the airplane, and had no practical application. After Belgian pilot Jacobs was killed during a practice flight, the maneuver was prohibited.”

It is amazing how different and seemingly risk tolerant the whole fighter pilot and military culture was back then. To think that something like the Touch-Roll-Touch was even sanctioned at all is just mesmerizing, especially when you consider just how poorly suited the Starfighter was for such a crazy low-speed and dynamic maneuver. Then again, the guys in the cockpit finally had a jet with the power and speed them dreamed about just a decade before, and “strapping on” the tight, hot rod like F-104 in particular was known to have been downright intoxicating. Just imagine all the antics and feats of stick and rudder flying that were NOT sanctioned and never caught on camera during this amazing era, all of them now lost to the great buffer of time.

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NEED TO TWEAK FIREFOX?

Tired of using about:config to find them?

Go here.

The add-on is here.

firefox config
Firefox may not be the most popular browser these days, but it’s still the most configurable—right down to the smallest little pixel. If hunting through about:config is too tiring, though, free add-on Configuration Mania adds a ton of options through an easy-to-browse panel.

Firefox has more hidden settings than you could count, but sometimes, you don’t know what you’re looking for until you know it’s there. Configuration Mania makes customizing Firefox a lot simpler: install the add-on, open up its settings, and you’ll be greeted with hundreds of new checkboxes and options. Some of the best include:

Disable or customize autocomplete in the address bar

Change how Firefox displays images and animated GIFsChange the URL and behavior of new tabsCustomize how Firefox works with Windows 7’s taskbar and jump listsAdjust how aggressive Firefox’s popup blocker isCustomize keyboard shortcuts and multi-touch gestures

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WE KNOW MORE ABOUT MARS THAN OUR OWN EARTH’S INTERIOR?

Could be.

Did you know our mantle has a region that’s 5 QUINTILLION times thicker than peanut butter?

earth-mantle
A new ‘superviscous’ layer in Earth’s lower mantle has been discovered.

The breakthrough could explain why parts of Earth’s sinking tectonic plates sometimes stall and thicken 930 miles (1,500km) underground.

It could also explain why earthquakes occur deep inside the Earth’s interior, suggesting it is hotter than previously thought.

The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Utah by crushing minerals between diamonds to replicate conditions in Earth’s interior.

Earth’s main layers are the thin crust four to 50 miles (six to 80km) deep, a mantle extending 1,800 miles (2,900km) deep and the iron core.

But there are subdivisions. The crust and some of the upper mantle form tectonic or lithospheric plates 60 to 90 miles (97 to 145km) thick that are like the top side of conveyor belts carrying continents and seafloors.

This new layer is a ‘superviscous’ region, where liquids are under such intense pressure that they are extremely stiff.

In laboratory experiments, the researchers found that an abundant mineral in the mantle called ferropericlase began to increase in strength at pressures equivalent to those 410 miles (660km) underground – the upper-lower mantle boundary.

And this strength increased threefold at depths of 930 miles (1,500km) deep.

By simulating how it behaves with another dominant mineral at the same level – bridgmanite – the researchers calculated that the viscosity or stiffness of the mantle rock at 930 miles deep is 300 times great than at 410 miles deep.

To put that in perspective, on the pascal-second scale the viscosity of water is 0.001, peanut butter is 200 and this stiff mantle layer is 1,000 billion billion.

‘The result was exciting,’ said Dr Lowell Miyagi, an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah.

‘This viscosity increase is likely to cause subducting slabs [ones that move under each other] to get stuck – at least temporarily – at about 930 miles underground.

‘In fact, previous seismic images show that many slabs appear to “pool” around 930 miles, including under Indonesia and South America’s Pacific coast.

Dr Miyagi added that the stalling and buckling of sinking slabs due to this stiff layer in the mantle may explain some deep earthquakes higher up in the mantle; most quakes are much shallower and in the crust.

‘Anything that would cause resistance to a slab could potentially cause it to buckle or break higher in the slab, causing a deep earthquake,’ he said.

Dr Miyagi also said the stiff upper part of the lower mantle may explain different magmas seen at two different kinds of seafloor volcanoes.

Recycled crust and mantle from old slabs eventually emerges as new seafloor during eruptions of volcanic vents along mid-ocean ridges – the rising end of the conveyor belt.

The magma in this new plate material has the chemical signature of more recent, shallower, well-mixed magma that had been subducted and erupted through the conveyor belt several times.

But in island volcanoes like Hawaii, created by a deep hotspot of partly molten rock, the magma is older, from deeper sources and less well-mixed.

Dr Miyagi said the viscous layer in the lower mantle may be what separates the sources of the two different magmas that supply the two different kinds of volcanoes.

Another implication of the stiff layer is that ‘if you decrease the ability of the rock in the mantle to mix, it’s also harder for heat to get out of Earth, which could mean Earth’s interior is hotter than we think,’ he said.

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