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Sunday, February 19, 2012


Steve Cole muses: Just thinking to himself.

1. I was watching the new BERING SEA GOLD and saw that big dredge almost end up on the rocks. Where was the Coast Guard? You'd think with all of the dredges in that small area there some kind of small patrol boat would be there. I am fascinated by the way the town of Nome works. With no road connections to anywhere, every car in town had to be shipped in, and when worn out, nobody would pay to ship it to a stateside junkyard. So there are entire fields of junk cars that (apparently) anyone can go take parts from. This goes a long way to explain why all of those dredging boats look like something out of JUNKYARD WARS.

2. I was reading the new Tom Clancy novel LOCKED ON and once again, we have nuclear missiles targeted on (who knows what) with commandos crawling around trying to disarm them. Guys, it's not that hard. Get some kind of big anti-aircraft machinegun, park it half a kilometer away, and when the missile pops out of the silo, fill it full of holes. Sheesh, it's not rocket science! He dismisses using anti-aircraft missiles because the ICBM is too fast. Get a clue! It's not too fast in the first 60 seconds, so have the SAMs there as a backup.

3. The longest war? The Hundred Years War lasted 116 years and it the world's longest, single, named conflict. Some historians try to merge the three Punic Wars into one conflict which lasted 118 years, but that's arguable, as there were long intervals of peace between each pair of wars. But then, the Hundred Years War did not involve fighting every single day (or even every year) so take your pick. The shortest war was no doubt the Zanzibar War of 1896 which lasted less than an hour. (Various sources cite 45 and 54 minutes.) The British Royal Navy defeated the Sultan by smashing his palace to bits.

4. Military shoulder patches originated as tattoos on the arms of Roman soldiers identifying the legion (division) they served in. (These were originally intended to help identify deserters, but soon became a source of pride.)

5. I sat down one Sunday and watched all ten episodes of the fourth (and final) season of THE TUDORS about Henry VIII, the King of England with six wives. I think they could do a fifth season with Edward, another with Bloody Mary, and then more seasons with Elizabeth. I think they could even go back and do Henry VII. It's a good show, well written and well acted.

6. Napoleon took 187,000 horses with him on his invasion of Russia. Only 1,600 made it out alive.

7. There are still 23 million buried land mines left in Egypt from World War Two, denying people access to 22 percent of that country. Ok, it's mostly desert, and the cost of removing the mines would not be offset by any economic use of the land. One still wonders what will happen in a thousand years when archaeologists find that stuff. France laid over 11 million land mines in Algeria during the revolt there in 1954-1962 and took the minefield maps with them when they left. The Algerians continue to remove them at the rate of 10,000 per month (a million so far). Those mines were mostly laid in areas that have potential economic use and the Algerians want the land cleared.

8. Some 100,000 sailors in the British Royal Navy died during the Napoleonic Wars (1783-1815), but only 7% in combat. Some 80% died of sickness (lots of civilians died from sickness as well, infection was a major killer of all humans) and 13% from accidental drowning.

9. Bucky Katt says to never cover a judge by his book. You'll have to go read the cartoon to understand this, but let's say it involves a beach and someone being arrested and let it go at that.

10. The other day, Leanna had to go to three stores to find a box of her chosen hair care product. Upset, she checked Amazon, and found out that she could "subscribe" to that product. Amazon will now mail her a three-months supply every third month. What an incredible marketing concept! (I wonder if I could sign up some of our F&E customers for a regular shipment of new counters?)