Farewell to the Junglies


The Sea Kings, pictured flying over Portsmouth Dockyard

The Royal Navy has retired their Sea King helicopters, after 36 years of service.

Pretty much synonymous with the Royal Marines, they served in the Falklands, Bosnia, and Northern Ireland, and in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They are being replaced by the Merlin MK4

They toured the West Country the other day.

over Durdle Door in Dorset


over Glastonbury Tor, in Somerset


Dartmouth, Devon


over Portland Bill Lighthouse in Dorset

via Sea King helicopters make final fly-by before being retired after 36 years  | Daily Mail Online

A bit of Nostalgia

I ran across these yesterday and thought you might enjoy them as well.

One for the cousins


And one for us


And a great disaster


Sunday Afternoon at the Duke’s

Poor guy missed out on the best. from the Guardian

Poor guy missed out on the best.
from the Guardian

Well, the best thing I’ve done lately is to convince Jess to write for us again. I had come to the end of the road with politics. I had said all that it was useful to say, mostly several times, and much of the campaign has become toxic to me, especially the nonsense that the campaigns (pretty much all of them) spew like a broken sewer pipe. So it was time to quit, and do it cold turkey (although I actually prefer Wild Turkey).

So, I think we’re going to talk about almost anything else, it will undoubtedly have a bearing on politics, here, and on the Brexit campaign in the UK, but we’re mostly going to let you draw your own conclusions on how to apply what we say.

Jess, was talking about the Duke this morning and I thought I’d return the favor although with a different duke.

They say the Duke of Wellington, after he retired, pretty much chose to not talk about politics. I’ve heard that, anyway, that doesn’t make it true. But I think it makes sense, politics gets old, doesn’t it, and eventually, one wants to talk about important things instead. By my lights, that makes him a wise man.

What are important things? Well, whoever they are, they say that for the Iron Duke it was horses, guns, hunting, and pretty Tory women. Sounds pretty sensible to me.

Well, I don’t know much about horses, but cars will work, or trucks, I think: guns, well we can, but we do that pretty regular: hunting leaves me kind of blah, at the moment. But a history video might be good. And while I have no idea if she’s a Tory, I’m pretty confident that Susannah Lipscholm’s looks would please the Duke (and the rest of us) although as I’ve said since Jess first told me about her, I can think of a prettier woman. The fact that she is, in fact, a brilliant historian is even more pleasing to me, and I hope the Duke would agree. Probably he would, after all, Tories, like our conservatives, are supposed to be the smart party. (Somebody please tell the party!)


Why Henry VIII? Glad you asked. Here is where modern England begins. The Navy, the Church, the Empire, they all start here, with Henry and Ann. Given that, this is the real start of America, Canada, Australia, and all the rest as well. It took a while, but this is the first step on the road to our world.

Steam Pron

If there are two things I love in this world, they’d be history and transportation, especially trains. When I say that you’ll not be surprised that I love steam locomotives.

The Brits have brought back a legend, the Flying Scotsman. Yes, the engine, the train still runs.

Coming Home

Gorgeous, isn’t she?

But look, what our Union Pacific is up to!

Now in the UP’s own steam shop being restored in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Meanwhile back east, in Pennsylvania, they’re building one of these from the rails up!

Here’s a bit more (with sound!) from the trust itself, to find out more, follow the link at the video!

Good thing leap day only comes quadrennily, I love posts like this.



Global Warmists Angry Half The Earth Isn’t Covered In Ice

I’ve said any number of times that I don’t believe that the case has been made for anthropogenic global warming/global cooling climate change. That’s especially true in the last 50 years as the industrial nations have cleaned up their act, well the first world ones, anyway.

Climate change has been happening ever since climate got started, that’s a different story. Is it conceivable that we did affect the climate when the industrial revolution was going strong. Yes, it is. Like the current scenarios, it’s not proven but as this article shows, I think it is more likely than the current crony capitalist/rent seeking scenario. Think about this for a while, maybe industrialization came just in time to save us from an ice age. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

A newly published study indicates human-caused global warming starting shortly after the Industrial Revolution may have helped the Earth narrowly avert a catastrophic ice age, and global warming advocates and their mainstream media allies are very angry about it. Yes, really.

For the past 3 million years, the Earth has undergone a regular cycle of long ice age glaciations occasionally interrupted by short warm periods. The glaciations last approximately 100,000 years and the warm periods last an average of only 10,000 years. Our present warm period has been in existence for 10,000 years, leading many scientists to worry that a new ice age glaciation may be imminent.

A study in the science journal Nature examined the natural cycles that cause the cyclical glaciations and warm periods and concluded that by the 1800s—after 500 years of cooling temperatures during the Little Ice Age—the conditions were at hand for the Earth to end its 10,000-year warm period and plunge into another full-blown glaciation.

During glaciations, ice sheets more than a mile deep cover much of Europe, Asia, and North America. The Nature study concluded human-caused global warming may have been the deciding factor preventing the plunge into another ice age. The study also noted that ongoing human-caused global warming may be preventing such a plunge even today.

via Global Warmists Angry Half The Earth Isn’t Covered In Ice.

Someone We Should Remember

English: Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USNR Offic...

English: Commodore Grace M. Hopper, USNR Official portrait photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What does it take for someone to have a navy ship named for them, and a tech conference as well? How about if it’s a woman? It takes a lot. Likely though, you’ve never heard of her.

I’m lucky, I guess, I have. She was the graduation speaker (a good many years ago) when my niece graduated William and Mary. She was also a pretty good speaker. Who was she? Professor Admiral “Amazing Grace” Hopper, PhD.

Grace Hopper isn’t a household name. But it should be.

As Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer of the United States, noted in the short documentary The Queen of Code:

“She’s like an Edison of our day. Like a Turing. And yet Hopper isn’t with those names in the history books. And it needs to be.”

Why Should Hopper’s Name Be in the History Books?

Let’s start with this: To the best of my knowledge, Grace Hopper is the only person in history to have both a tech conference (the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing — the world’s largest gathering of women technologists) and a U.S. Navy destroyer (the 500-foot, 7,000-tonU.S.S. Hopper) named in their honor.

Those two accolades might begin to give you a sense of just how extraordinary the accomplishments of Professor Admiral “Amazing Grace” Hopper, PhD truly were. (And yes, those titles are legit.)

In 1934, Hopper became the first woman to earn a PhD in mathematics from Yale (which she earned in absentia while teaching math and physics at Vassar College). Then, in 1985, at the age of 78, she became the first woman to reach the rank of Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

As you might imagine, a lot of stuff (in this case, stuff that would revolutionize the world of computing) happened in-between those two events.

In 1943, Hopper joined the Naval Reserves. Three years later, she was assigned to inactive duty at Harvard’s Computation Laboratory, where she worked on programming the Mark I — the first computer that could automatically execute long computations.

In 1949, she joined the Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, where she worked on programming the UNIVAC I — the world’s first large-scale electronic computer.

Hopper was one of the first computer programmers … ever.

Know the expression “debugging” a computer? Hopper was one of the first people to use it. And at the time, it referred to literally removing bugs (moths, in particular) from computer components.

During her time at Eckert-Mauchly, Hopper had a breakthrough idea — an idea that would come to define her computing career. After noticing that her fellow programmers were constantly writing the same commands over and over, Hopper suggested that they write their commands down once and then store them in shared libraries.

By 1952, this idea had evolved into the world’s first compiler (Hopper’s greatest innovation), which allowed programmers to store and recall code using English language-based commands.

But You’ve Probably Never Heard of Her

Source: There’s a Navy Destroyer & a Tech Conference Named After This Person — ReadThink (by HubSpot) — Medium

A truly great woman, who get far less recognition than she deserves for her seminal, and objectively stunning contributions, that in large part have made the world we live in possible. Another Edison? Yes, but maybe even more, perhaps another Nikola Tesla, because of the wide range of applicability of her inventions.

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