Rebuilding Belle

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What have you done to advance science lately?

For any aviation or car nut, the late 1940′s through to the late 1960′s are the heyday of mechanical development. Cars and planes were getting faster, more reliable, and more refined at a blistering pace. But these new developments brought new problems. As is typically the case, the mechanical engineering of faster vehicles massively out paced the development of safety measures meant to address the new dangers brought about when something went wrong.

After WWII the flying branches of the military got together to investigate the number of deaths they were seeing in non-combat aircraft accidents. While the flying service knew that the problem was related to sudden deceleration—it’s not the fall, it’s the sudden stop at the end—they didn’t really have a handle on what was a lethal g-load. They decided to study the problem and enlisted the help of Dr. John Stapp. Dr. Stapp volunteered to lead a group of human subjects in a series of rapid deceleration experiments.

Dr. Stapp and his team would strap themselves onto rocket sleds which rode on a special railbed built by Northrop Aircraft. They would then be shot down the track and decelerated rapidly by either massive mechanical brakes, or pits filled with water. The impacts were recorded on high speed cameras, and their injuries would be logged.

On December 10, 1954 Dr. Stapp was strapped into the Sonic Wind I test sled. For several minutes he sat, atop a sled which mounted nine rocket bottles, each capable of producing 5000 pounds of thrust. Two minutes before ignition two technicians left his side and ran for the safety bunker a few hundred yards away. Stapp had been injured in previous tests; hematomas, broken bones, sand imbedded into his skin. He knew that this test was probably going to hurt. For two agonizing minutes sat there, staring down the track, waiting.

When the countdown reached zero, the nine rocket bottles ignited and Sonic Wind I hurtled down the track. Col. Joe Kittinger, flying a chase plane along the track at 350 miles per, recalls, “he went by me like I was standing still.” Sonic Wind I topped out at 632 miles per hour before hitting the water brake. Stapp’s body was subjected to 46.2 Gs. The stop was so sudden the capilaries in Stapp’s eyes burst, and he was temporarily blinded (his vision would return the next day). He’d broken both of his wrists, several ribs, in addition to the retinal hemorrhages. Stapp was helped to a gurney and taken to the base hospital where he recovered.

Dr. Stapp’s findings not only shattered previously held misconceptions about how many G’s the human body could endure, but also exposed flaws in pilot and passenger restraint. Additionally, with the data collected engineers could develop reasonably realistic crash test dummies, preventing the need for anyone to ever have to endure this sort of testing again. Stapps’ results were also shared with the automobile industry and used to pass the laws making seat belt’s mandatory in all passenger cars. His shoulder restraint system is still used tin every car on the road today.

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What it’s like being one of the first spec ops women

female SF soldier 450x376 What its like being one of the first spec ops women

Spec ops not-man (img by the US Army no doubt)

About a year ago, the US Army started a program to insert women into special forces missions. It was controversial, and still is, even if now, more than a year later, these women have proven to be a major asset.

These all-female spec ops units are called Cultural Support Teams, and their job is to interact with and gain intelligence from women and children in places where it is socially or culturally inappropriate for men to, like, you know, Afghanistan.

They are not just called in when the Army needs not-men. They travel and fight along side Rangers and other forward infantry  in combat missions, in addition to medical outreach programs, and other non-civil affairs. Make no mistake, they’re door kickers, and they have to wear all that extra headgear, Charlie Mike. You never know when you need a not-man.

SOFREP has an interview with one such grunt, and you should really, really read the whole thing. Here’s a part of it:

There will always be debate about women in direct combat roles, but let’s think about that one for a minute, what the hell do people think women have been doing since 9/11? Female MP’s, FET’s, CST’s, etc., they’ve been serving in that role. And even more importantly, let’s not forget our CST sister who lost her life on 22 October 2011 while serving in direct combat.

Most people tend to give knee-jerk reactions to this subject, which drives me crazy! I guess I can’t fault them for being ignorant on just what women like myself have been doing I mean if they haven’t had the opportunity to work with us, how would they know what our capabilities are, right?

I’ve read many opinions on the matter and the majority of them are extremely subjective as opposed to being objective but I guess that’s what an opinion is, it’s generally based on subjectivity.

What I tire of reading are the ridiculous comments about how men and women cannot fight side-by-side because of a man’s natural instinct to want to protect women. Well, if that’s the case then they have failed as a soldier because when we put that uniform on we’re all soldiers. (more…)

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Tactical riflestache!

Riflestache 450x435 Tactical riflestache!

A captive riflestash (img by FourGuysGuns)

Inspired by the work of and as a tribute to the coolness exhibited by our boys on the frontlines, the riflestash is now available so everyone can stop the search and get a sweet ‘stache on the medium of their choice.  Available in 10 colors to match your style or needs, we put them on our buttstocks, just because we wanted to.  What you do with yours is your business. 1 order equals 1 sheet, 1 color of your choice with 4 styles on the individual sheet. You want more color, you buy more sheets.

You can get your own set of riflestaches, in nine colors of the tactical rainbow–black, tan, green, blue, purple, red, orange, pink, and yellow–from the FourGuysGuns store, ($5 per sheet).

rflstsh blue 450x605 Tactical riflestache!

A family of riflestashes (img by FourGuysGuns)


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Weather Channel/NBC/Romney’s Bain Capital Sued For Military Discrimination

Nicole Mitchell FB 450x503 Weather Channel/NBC/Romneys Bain Capital Sued For Military Discrimination

Interdisciplinary atmospheric research has no masters. (img by FB/the Blaze)

@Daily Kos:

Former on-camera meteorologist and Air Force Reserves Captain Nicole Mitchell has filed a lawsuit against The Weather Channel — owned by NBC, GE, and Bain Capital — for military discrimination. Captain Mitchell is a member of the Air Force’s famous Hurricane Hunters division (the professionals who fly aircraft into hurricanes to gather data on it). According to a press release posted to Nicole Mitchell’s public Facebook fan page, the grounds for the lawsuit is The Weather Channel’s violation of The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (“USERRA”) which prohibits discrimination and retaliation against service members due to their military obligations.

Nicole Mitchell was a stellar meteorologist and television personality with The Weather Channel (TWC) for many years, and her lawyer claims that she was fired because her military obligations were inconvenient to TWC’s schedule and bottom line. As the following 30 minute press conference shows, TWC became openly hostile towards Captain Mitchell and the scheduling of her military assignments. They first began making Mitchell’s schedule difficult because of her military obligations (provided to The Weather Channel 9 months in advance). The company soon took Mitchell off of the channel’s top rated morning show “Your Weather Today” and stuck her with an overnight shift that made it impossible for Mitchell to make it to Mississippi in time for her military assignments, forcing her to take personal leave in order to make the long drive from Atlanta to Gulfport MS. Executives at TWC got so frustrated with her military duties interfering with the company’s schedule that they decided not to renew Captain Mitchell’s contract, effectively firing her. (more…)

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Holder and lawmakers spar over Fast & Furious

us guns mexico Holder and lawmakers spar over Fast & Furious

US approved large escalation of legal gun sales to Mexico (img by US Open Borders)


Attorney General Eric Holder sparred Thursday with Republican lawmakers who demanded to know why Justice Department officials haven’t been fired over the Operation Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and the botched prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens.

During a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, members of Congress complained that the Justice Department’s response to both episodes has been too timid, and officials who engaged in misconduct have gotten away with a slap on the wrist or even less.

The congressional hearing, like several involving Holder over the past year, was dominated by discussion of the Fast and Furious episode. While much of Congress has been in a frenzy over leaks of classified national security secrets, that subject was barely broached at the Judiciary Committee session. (more…)

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