Basement Shark!

Basement shark 450x604 Basement Shark!

Go to a museum or Basement Shark will kill you when you least expect it! Actually, you’ll probably be using the toilet, sharks … sharks breathe water. Which you will learn at a God damn museum.

From The Amazing, Unstaged World Hiding Behind a Museum’s Closed Doors.

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Itchy sweater memories

Every year about this time I go on a Frank Lloyd Wright kick. I’m sure this is some sort of Pavlovian response connected to the holidays. When I was a kid we used to drive by a home designed by the controversial genius en route to my grandparent’s home. The owners of that particular Wright house would pull out all the stops in their impersonation of Clark Griswold if he had any sense of style or class. We’d ohh and ahh while we sweltered in the back seat wearing our itchy Sunday best clothes.

Every holiday season those muck-sweat stained memories resurface and prompt me to go surfing around the series of tubes looking for FLW homes. This year I found this article about the restoration of both the Muirhead House and the Westcott House (featured in the video link). I really shouldn’t watch this sort of thing because it makes me think A) I can learn carpentry and B) I should buy an old house an restore it.

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Rebuilding Belle

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Slow Mo Sunday Saturn V

30 seconds of Apollo 11 launch footage becomes 8 minutes of pure awesome at 500 FPS.

The Saturn V rocket is the most powerful vehicle ever made. It is also the loudest; the vibrations caused by the sound of a Saturn V rocket will cause heart cavitation and a horrible death. The camera filming all of this, never moves, and doesn’t skip a frame while running just a few feet from the epicenter of bedlam.

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Yar, dis be yer reminder!

bordaxerifle1 450x726 Yar, dis be yer reminder!

Dis handy multitasker be jolly at cuttin’ below foes near ‘n far, (img Pirates & Zombies)

Just wantin’ to remind ye all that this day be International Speak Like a Scurvy Pirate Day, wit’ a wee wee bit ‘o scurvy pirate history.

That up thar be a boardin’ ax. If it looks like it fires like a musketoon, ’tis because ’tis a combination gun. So many thin’s ’bout life on th’ high Seven Seas involved makin’ one thin’ do lots ‘o thin’s, ‘n th’ boardin’ ax be no exception.

Th’ modern fire ax did bearn directly from it ‘n wit’ jolly reason, ’tis a true multi-device ‘o th’ the hour. Not only could ye swin’ it to murder someone, ye could shoot people wit’ it. And also ’tis an ax, fer all ye other choppin’ duties. Take a shiv to your load, no sense in shoulderin’ an ax an’ a whole ‘nother flintlock.

Th’ boardin’ ax was also jolly fer choppin’ apart doors ‘n chests, a necessary step in acquirin’ lovely booty. Truly, th’ boardin’ ax be one ‘o th’ greatest scurvy pirate inventions ‘n to ’tis day be somethin’ all ye pirates own. Because ye never be knowin’ when ye have to shoot someone, then hack at them some afterwards.

Special thanks to Post Like a Pirate for assisting with the translation.

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Your own drummer

The De Havilland Mosquito is one of my all time favorite aircraft. I love everything about it, from the shape, the roar of the twin Merlin engines, the raw speed, or the bizarre armaments like a 6 pounder artillery piece, or 4000 pounds of bombs (about the same payload as the B-17), or radar and a slew of machine guns for night fighting. The Mozzy operated anywhere from 50 to 30,000 feet, and, depending on who you ask, was the fastest aircraft in the allied arsenal.

Watching gun camera footage of a a squadron of Mosquitoes flying so close to the ground that they have to climb to clear a brick fence outside of a French country house sends tingles up my spine. This plane caused the Third Reich so much trouble that Air Marshall Hermann Goring simply copied it and hoped it would wreak as much havoc with the Allies as had been wrought upon them.

ta154 450x291 Your own drummer

Eats bullets and shits tanks (img unattributed)

But all that aside, what really fascinates me about the Mosquito is its creator. Jeffrey De Havilland had been the man behind several revolutionary aircraft. But in an age where aluminum and special metallic alloys had taken over as the primary material in aircraft construction, the Mosquito was made almost entirely out of plywood. Lots of really smart people were telling him he was borderline brain dead for building a modern aircraft from turn of the century materials. In the face of this criticism he carried on, and ended up being the inventor of one of the fastest most versatile airframes in the RAF. His notions that a fast airplane was a safe plane were correct, so while B-17s and RAF Lancasters lumbered across the skies of Europe suffering staggering losses, the Mosquito could deliver the same payload and then simply out run any pursuit sent after them.

By flying below 50 feet they were undetectable by German radar, and nearly impossible for ground forces to shoot down. Jeffery De Havilland’s perseverance despite the criticism of his peers–that absolute faith that he was right, and they were simply not seeing what he saw–is what’s truly amazes me.

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