Topic: Too Cool To Miss

Act of Valor trailer

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I have two words to describe how this movie's going to perform at the box office.


Enormous. Hit.

Shirley the Elephant

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Part I, in 2000:


Have a tissue handy. Ready?

Video: The Unseen Sea

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This time lapse photography of San Francisco mesmerized me. Watching the airliners in their landing patterns was particularly neat.

Any Taliban seeing this ...

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... would wet his undies.

Freakin' sweet.

InZero

If this thing's for real, I'm going to get one.

Bruce Lee? He was an amateur.

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Kung Fu Bear laughs at his pitiful skills.

I've been eagerly awaiting this miniseries since I saw the first trailer, despite my recent misgivings thanks to Tom Hanks' asshattery. Here's a little history that sets the stage for the first episode.


In partnership with HBO, The U.S. Naval Institute has collected a great wealth of historical information on the the Pacific Theater of World War II. For further reading, try any (or all) of these books:

Want more video?

There's a bunch more after the jump.

Best. Dog. Ever.

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Terrorist-eating warbots?

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EATR prototypeImagine turning one loose in Taliban Country! I wonder if one could be programmed to target the scent of patchouli oil, and be set loose in Berkeley?

Hat tip: Hot Air

7/17 Update: Drat!

Come March, 2010 I'm going to subscribe to HBO just to watch this.

I still watch my DVD boxed set of "Band Of Brothers" at least once a year ...

Band Of Brothers

... so I suspect I'll be buying this one in about a year's time.

H/T: BLACKFIVE

Video: flying pit bulls

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Now this is a great way to showcase the amazing athleticism of pit bulls.

I hate the barbaric practice of dog fighting, and I know from personal experience that a well-trained pit bull is a smart, loyal, gentle, loving, eager-to-please family pet. I grew up with one who was six months younger than I, and he lived to be 16. Had a burglar broken into the house, he would have licked him to death.

H/T: Pat Dollard

Dr. Samuel Stupp and Dr. Ramille Capito explain their research in the field of Bionanotechnology and its contributions to regenerative medicine:

I'm a C-6 quad due to a diving accident in 1998, so this research fascinates me. What's even better is that no embryonic stem cell research is involved.

Video: patriotic speed painting

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"Hero" performed by Michael Israel:

Big Wheel backflip

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I have no idea why this starts with footage of a guy in tighty whities in a fireworks fight. Then again, guys like that don't need a reason, do they?

The creator of the Segway and the iBOT 4000 has outdone himself. At the request of the U.S. Department of Defense, Dean Kamen is developing the latest breakthrough in prosthetic arms ... and it's a quantum leap forward.

There's more video here.

When Kamen builds the "Luke Leg", I'll be at his door to get a pair.

H/T: Fox News

London epidemics present and past

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As a particularly nasty novirus epidemic sweeps through London this winter, it's both fascinating and instructive to look back at a horrible cholera epidemic that hammered Londoners in 1854. The physician John Snow came to the city's rescue and saved countless lives when he did some innovative medical detective work.

I want this for Christmas

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I've been good, Santa.

Puhleeeeeeeze can I have a spider mech?

H/T: Bryan at Hot Air

Military exoskeleton prototype

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I want one. Maybe Sarcos can build a totally hand-controlled version for paralyzed vets like me.

Hat tip: NixGuy

A great way to clear your sinuses

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Take it from me: you never ever want to lose the documentation proving that you've completed military-grade OC spray training. Encores are a buzzkill.


As soon as that gooey pepper spray hits your face, your nose expels rivers of snot, your skin feels like it's been sunburned, your lips feel like they're covered in angry fire ants, and your throat tries to close up if you're dumb enough to breathe too deeply.

And your eyes. Oh, your eyes. They don't close ... they slam shut. This pepper spray's Scoville score is in the 2,000,000 - 5,300,000 range, so it's worse than breaking open a habanero pepper and rubbing your bare eyeballs with it. It's such exquisite pain that after your instructor calls "break" you can stare unblinking into cold water running from a hose into your eyes because it ... Makes. The. Ow. Go. Away.

Did I forget to mention that you're expected to keep control of your sidearm and your combative subject after being sprayed? Fun times.

Now that's ball handling

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Explosives tend to annoy wasps

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A fallen rock was blocking a route in Afghanstan and EOD decided to blow it up.

I hope the EOD techs had face masks on. Ugh.

Just crossed paths with Laura Ingraham

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Laura Ingraham's "Power To The People" book tour pulled into Cleveland today. Here I am at the WHK Meet & Greet over on the East Side.

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The lady radiates energy. She's on her tenth stop in this book tour, and won't get a break 'til the middle of next month. A three day break. She's gotta be tired but you sure can't tell by looking at her or listening to her. Laura's very friendly, outgoing, and charming ... the kind of person I'd enjoy hanging out with over pizza and beer. I'd love to just sit and hear her talk about the things she's done, the places she's been and the people she's met.

Laura, I hope you get a chance to work out at some point, just to vent some stress from the tour. At least go for a run, girl. You'll go batty by October otherwise. And the next time you roll through town, you and your producers drink on my tab. Never let it be said that this USCGA grad would withhold hospitality from friends of a squid like Joe (tempting though it might be).

Here's more on the author and her work.

 

My favorite talk show host kicks off her latest book tour by sitting down with Michelle Malkin:

I love this lady. Buy her books!

Fear the Reaper

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Blue Öyster Cult never imagined this new Air Force drone:

The Reaper packs a wallop. Sleep soundly, Mr. Terrorist.

Hat tip: Hot Air

Happy Tax Day

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Good luck unraveling the U.S. Tax Code.

tax code map

That's The US Tax Code Map, which tries to represent the tangled mess visually as, well, a tangled mess.

Hat tip: JawsBlog

Bleg: jet fighter video in high def

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My 50" plasma screen TV needs a workout. I absolutely lust after jet fighters, especially 4th- and 5th-generation models. What's the best high definition DVD out there that combines gripping footage (not necessarily combat), an excellent soundtrack with lots of afterburning thunder, and multiple camera angles (in-cockpit, HUD, externally mounted, formation flight, fly-by, etc.)? Extra warm fuzzies if there's a Hornet in there anywhere.

This is the video that started my drooling.

You can bet I'll be asking Lex for his opinion. Cuz this ain't half bad, neither:

Gotta love that 16-cylinder engine

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Gimme. Gimme gimme gimme.

I want one yesterday.

Hat tip: Beth at MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Impressive. Very Impressive.

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My inner geek couldn't resist sharing this.

Hat tip: NixGuy.com

Content warning: profanity galore.

Hat tip: Hot Air

This is priceless.

Feel the schadenfreude. Remember this?

Implications of liquid water on Mars

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If the changes in photos of gullies on Mars really do reveal that the red planet still has liquid water somewhere, then the likelihood of life on Mars is greater than scientists thought. Now, assume that there really is liquid water, and future probes dig into the soil to find living microbes. Exciting, of course.

But here's a question to really make your head spin: what if the microbes have DNA?

That would be major evidence of intelligent design. After all, what are the odds that an information storage system as incredibly complex as DNA would evolve on two separate planets? Keep an eye on the next Mars probes to hit the surface of the red planet. I know I'll be watching.

Now that's what I call sharp

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You definitely need to see this video of the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard Drill Team.

Hat tip: Andy's Angle

FedEx airplane swarm

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After you see this animation of FedEx airplane arrivals at an airport during a thunderstorm, you'll have a new appreciation for air traffic controllers.

Hat tip: American Digest

Navy SEAL recruiting commercial

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I was watching the Military Channel tonight when I saw a recruiting commercial for the U.S. Navy SEALs. It's very brief, but it's by far the most creative and thought-provoking ad I've seen in a long, long time. Check it out.

Six 3-pointers in three minutes

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This story about an autistic basketball player will bring a smile to your face and a happy tear to your eye. Nice shootin', Jason!

Hat tip: Wizblog

Patrick Ruffini's latest straw poll

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Go participate in Patrick Ruffini's September straw poll on the 2008 Republican presidential primary race. It allows you to see the results grouped by geography, ideology, and political interests.

Planarity game

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This is one clever, simple, and addictive timewaster.

Ah, destruction

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Ever wanted to see an industrial shredder eat a couch? Or a washing machine? Maybe a bunch of car bumpers? How about a whole boat? Hey, no problemo ... can do.

Color WWI photographs

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I had no idea that anyone took color photographs during World War I. They look a bit stilted, but that's probably due to low shutter speeds or somesuch. They're still fascinating.

Hat tip: Vodkapundit

Main battle tank video: Merkava 4

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Here's a kick-butt advertising clip from Israel circa 2002, hawking the Merkava tank. Reminds me of the jihadi rifleman's nightmare. Even this Coastie's impresseed.

Hat tip: Target Centermass

Say hello to Megan

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This is Megan, a little girl living in southern Indiana who's just been diagnosed with Microscopic Polyangiitis.

Megan

What a cutie! Go sign her guestbook and wish her a speedy recovery.

Now that's what I call a landing

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Hose him down

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If you like things that go boom, you'll be impressed by this footage of helicopter miniguns in action.

Hat tip: Argghhh!

Good luck holding this water droplet

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Looking for a simple yet maddening little game? Enjoy.

Hat tip: Drink This...

Must ... have ... guitar ...

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Mark Anderson's latest post at Poor Richard's Almanac reawakens the guitar lust long dormant in my heart. I used to play before I got into an accident that paralyzed my fingers, but now I'm thinking about modifying a guitar to make it playable (perhaps in my lap, steel guitar style). Thanks for reminding me of the joys and frustrations of guitar shopping, Mark!

I see that Hugh Hewitt has chosen him as the Blog of the Month for January 2005. Bravo!

Homespun Bloggers Radio

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Following the lead of the Northern Alliance Radio Network, a loose group of bloggers has started broadcasting audio over the web. The show's called Homespun Bloggers Radio, and here are the pages announcing show one and show two. To listen to the looped broadcasts, click below:

Perhaps I can record a fake commercial or two for them, or get them to play some of Frank J's audio bits.

Imagine these in a barnyard

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Scientists have invented a fly-eating robot that needs no batteries.

Latest tsunami video & news

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If you're looking for video, your one-stop shop is still the video page at Cheese & Crackers.

If you're looking for news, go see what Arthur Chrenkoff has pulled together. He's got one heck of a round-up.

As before, please help in whatever way you can:

Help tsunami victims here

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UPDATE: Chrenkoff has Wednesday's tsunami news round-up posted. There's some good news mixed in with the bad.

UPDATE 2: Waxy.org also has several videos.

More tsunami video footage

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Rather than constantly updating my last tsunami video post, I'll just point you right to the latest clips hosted by Cheese & Crackers. Even some Kenyans caught it on video, tossing their fishing boats like bathtub toys.

As before, please help in whatever way you can:

Help tsunami victims here

UPDATE: Incredible footage from Aceh, Indonesia, where the wave first struck.

UPDATE 2: Go here for the latest.

Home video of tsunami

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Videos of the tsunami arriving in Thailand: here and here.

Please help in whatever way you can:

Help tsunami victims here

Hat tip: Power Line

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UPDATE: Video from a resort in Sri Lanka.

UPDATE 2: Reader Wes Roth points out more tsunami videos here, hosted by Cheese & Crackers. This is the place online for video of the tsunami.

UPDATE 3: Go here for the latest.

A tsunami-proof island

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Want to live free of giant waves, yet still enjoy tropical weather and excellent scuba diving? Move to Guam (Google cached copy here), where I was stationed with the Coast Guard from 1994-96. Guam's coral reefs and the nearby Marianas Trench protect it from tsunamis.

Of course, the occasional typhoon can cramp your style. There are plenty of brown tree snakes, which cause power outages and which have eaten nearly all the birds and bats on the island ... which results in lots of big, hungry jungle bugs scuttling about unmolested. Let's not forget the roaming packs of feral dogs, either. Oh, and wild boars. And surly "nationalist" islanders. But hey, at least tsunamis aren't an issue.

On the plus side, Saipan's close.

Wanted: proofreader (overtime guaranteed)

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I'd heard about Google's plan to digitize several university libraries and make the results searchable online, but I hadn't thought of a potential Achilles heel: who's going to proofread the scanned results?

Snapshot: Battle of Fallujah overview

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Carnivorous Conservative outdoes himself with this original graphic combining an open-source satellite photo with info from news reports. It's a very informative snapshot of the situation as of 8:30 PM, EST.

And people wonder why I'm a blog junkie?

Hat tip: Chester (who's liveblogging the battle as I suspected he would).

RPG airbags

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StrategyPage.com reports another victory in the fight against stupid military procurement procedures:

Rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) are the typical weapons of choice when insurgents decide to attack trucks and armored vehicles. RPGs are cheap, simple to operate, and if used properly can inflict significant damage on Stryker and Bradley armored vehicles. Unarmed and armored Hummers are especially vulnerable, since the various armor kits for the Hummer are designed to protect occupants from small arms and machine gun fire, not anti-tank grenades.

One quick fix to protect the Hummer is a unique airbag system developed by a small California company that deploys a "curtain" down outside the side of the vehicle being attacked. Four bags are needed to protect all quadrants and are held in place with simple Velcro straps. A small radar detects the incoming RPG or RPGs and inflates the airbag with a carbon dioxide gas cartridge. The RPG is literally "caught" by the airbag like a pillow and slowed enough so the nose-mounted fuse doesn't detonate the warhead. Instead, the RPG ends up collapsing upon itself, shredding the secondary self-destruct fuse and looking like a stomped-on beer can. Currently, the airbag and cartridge have to be replaced after one use, but the designers are working on a reusable airbag that can simply be rolled up and put back into place.

Cost for the system is expected to run between $5,000 to $7,000 dollars and weighs around 50 pounds. The Army is in the process of awarding a contract with the goal of getting systems to Iraq within 6 months, at a initial product rate of 25 systems per month. Other systems are being refined for use on canvass-topped vehicles and the Stryker.

That's the spirit! Get this kind of innovation out to the troops and save some lives. Rock on.

Hat tip: Castle Argghhh!

Purple America

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Robert J. Vanderbei at Princeton takes the red state / blue state meme to a much more informative level, using shades of purple on a county-by-county map to show the results of this election.

Purple America

On another map, he even added false mountains to designate areas with higher population.

Election2004textured_small.gif

What a great way to clearly convey a mountain of complex information. Edwin Tufte would be proud.

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UPDATE: An apparent Tufte fan found a map of Purple America with highly-populated areas artificially expanded. Groovy.

UPDATE 2: More maps.

UPDATE 3: Another one using elevation for population differences between counties (I'm guessing it's showing population density, not absolute population), and no shades of purple.

That's one lucky kitten

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Eight-week-old Milo the cat went through half a wash cycle in his owner's washing machine before she figured out he was in there. Don't worry, though. He's OK now.

Cybernetic "brain" learns to fly

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If you thought cybernetic brains were the stuff of science fiction, think again. Somebody just grew one that learned to fly a flight simulator.

Hat tip: Drudge

Iraqi SWAT

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Backcountry Conservative has an exclusive look at an Iraqi SWAT recruiting poster, and links to a story about the Force Recon Marines training the Iraqis as very effective shock troops.

Iraqi SWAT

The Arabic script translates as "Iraqi SWAT." Go get 'em, fellas.

The nuclear bunker buster bomb

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If you've been wondering about the weapons system that put John Kerry's underoos in a bunch during last week's debate, here's a primer.

"He's going in the pond!"

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A Great White Shark has wandered into a saltwater marsh in Massachusetts, and the locals are trying to figure out what to do.

A great white shark was identified and tagged with a satellite tracking device after being found swimming in the waters off Cape Cod.

Gregory Skomal, a shark specialist for the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, said it is the first time a great white has ever been tagged in the Atlantic Ocean.

The shark -- estimated to be 15 feet long and weighing 2,000 pounds -- was spotted earlier this week in shallow waters near Naushon Island, which is off Woods Hole. While great whites aren't unusual in the North Atlantic, marine biologists say they generally don't go that close to shore.

Skomal told the Cape Cod Times that he used a six-foot spear to attach the tracking device to the shark's dorsal fin.

That is one big critter.

More here.

You can have my gun ...

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... when you pry it from my cold, dead paw.

The "Water Cube"

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The planned "Water Cube" has me eagerly awaiting the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Hat tip: The Agitator

Bose makes bumpy roads smooth

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Check out the new electromagnetic shock absorbers created by Bose, which destroy the current need to trade comfort for control. When these things become available for my car, I'm really going to look into buying them.

Adult stem cells create new jawbone?

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A German man who lost his lower jaw to cancer has a new one today. His doctor grew one for him in the muscles of his back, and the man's own adult stem cells probably caused the growth.

For comparison's sake, the number of jawbones grown using embryonic stem cells is still zero.

Hat tip: Drudge

Pop, soda, or coke?

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Naturally, the correct answer is "pop." The rest of you are wrong.

Bow man

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This time-waster is simple, mildly unsettling, and very addictive. You've been warned.

Pouring the perfect pint

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We lovers of stout and sports owe this man a debt of gratitude.

The Blogosphere Political Compass Project is underway. Go. Read. Respond.

My digital brownshirt

Incidentally, my coordinates are pretty well to the right, and slightly authoritarian. And here I was, thinking I was pretty libertarian in my views. Who knew? Time to go buy my digital brown shirt.

Anatahan's erupting again

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I mentioned this last month, and have been too busy to keep up until now. Anatahan Island's volcanic activity is spiking again, nearly a year after its first eruption in recorded history. The ash and debris have forced the FAA to reroute airliners to avoid fouling their engines with volcanic crud.

Kinda cool to think I floated by the place once, less than a mile from ground zero. I'll have to go look through my old snapshots, since I don't recall whether I took any that day (there wasn't much to see).

A little dab'll do ya

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Hat tip: Quibbles & Bits

Our military may soon be using liquid body armor.

Infidel apparel

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Hat tip: Rantburg

I just bought some Arabic Zionist Apparel by Rokem Needle Arts. Go buy some, yourself. Annoy your local jihadis.

Anatahan volcano rumbles again

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Back in 1994-96 I did a tour on a buoy tender homeported in Guam. I remember steaming past volcanic Anatahan Island once, on the way to a rendezvous with a patrol boat for a two-ship BBQ in the middle of Maug Island (Quicktime VR available). At the time, Anatahan was already evacuated due to earthquakes that heralded a possible eruption. We slid within a mile to the west of the deserted island, and in among the overgrown vegetation we spotted some wandering cattle. It was a peaceful sight, and I don't recall any visible gases coming out of either volcano.

In May of last year, it blew. An insomniac Space Shuttle astronaut was the first to notice, and he snapped some digital photos before calling Houston to let them know something was up. It was the first eruption of Anatahan in recorded history, and the ash cloud forced the FAA to reroute air traffic around it.

Now, the AP reports that Anatahan might be ready to blow again. If it does, I'll get every photo I can find.

This should be very, very cool.

Science 1, Jihadis 0.

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You've simply got to see this video on Strategypage.com of a new anti-truckbomb barrier being tested against a remotely-piloted dump truck. The impact is a sight to see, and it's astonishing how minor the penetration turned out to be. If only they'd had these barriers in Lebanon back in '83.

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