Friday, August 18, 2017

Fun with boats

John Quincy Adams, our sixth president, was a severe looking fellow

A daguerreotype portrait of John Quincy Adams taken in March of 1843 by Philip Haas, the earliest surviving original photographic image of a US president, has been rediscovered after more than a century and a half of languishing in obscurity. It is going up for auction at Sotheby’s Photographs sale on October 5th in New York. This silver plate portrait has been in the family of Horace Everett, a congressman from Vermont who served in the House of Representatives from 1829 to 1843, since Adams gifted it to him in 1843, but the seller, a descendant who wishes to remain unnamed, thought it was a portrait of Horace Everett and had no idea that an object of national significance was stashed amidst his attic clutter.

A patchwork of labels on the back of the newly discovered daguerreotype, which is in a simple ebonized wood frame, attests to that personal connection. There’s a piece of brown paper, apparently clipped from an envelope, with “J.Q. Adams” in the return address space, in what appears to be the former president’s handwriting. “He had a distinctive way of making his H’s,” Ms. Bierman said.
There’s also a bookplate with the Everett family crest, on which someone else wrote “Presented by J.Q.A. to his Kinsman H.E. 1843,” and noted that it was said to be “one of the earliest daguerreotypes.”
The daguerreotype is estimated to sell for $150,000–250,000, but it’s likely to go for much more than that due its illustrious subject, uniqueness and historical significance.

A-10 Warthogs Drop Bunker Buster Bombs in Combat for the First Time

That'll put an ouch in your pouch.

First introduced in the 1990s, the BLU-109 warhead has a one inch thick hardened steel case that can break through four to six feet of reinforced concrete. Despite its overall weight, the bomb has less than 600 pounds of explosive inside. The Air Force is in the process of purchasing a new, more reliable version of the weapon, known as the BLU-137/B.
As of August 2017, A-10s assigned to the 447th were averaging 750 strikes against ISIS every month, according to the Air Force. This makes the Warthogs “one of the most feared and combat effective aircraft in the fight,” U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Andrew Walck explained in the official news segment.
 It seems likely that the A-10s have already been flying from Incrilik in support of the Raqqa operation.
“It’s nice to see the bombs get loaded and the jets come back without them,” Senior Airman Joshua Coll, who leads one of the teams that loads weapons onto the Warthogs at the base in Turkey, told the service’s reporters. “That means that hostile targets died. That means we got the mission done. We either took out a high value target or we’re saving our troops on the ground.”
With the GBU-31(V)3/Bs added to their arsenal, the A-10s look set to keep flying increasingly diverse missions, and more of them, against ISIS.

From the edge of the Solar System, Voyager probes are still talking to Australia after 40 years

CSIRO operates NASA’s tracking station in Canberra, a set of four radio telescopes, or dishes, known as the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC).
It’s one of three tracking stations spaced around the globe, which form the Deep Space Network. The other two are at Goldstone, in California, and Madrid, in Spain.
I love the name: The Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.  

The Canberra tracking station continues to receive signals from both Voyager spacecraft every day, and is currently the only tracking station capable of exchanging signals with Voyager 2, owing to the spacecraft’s position as it heads on its southward path out of the Solar System.
By 2030, both Voyagers will be out of power, their scientific instruments deactivated, no longer able to exchange signals with Earth. They will continue on at their current speeds of more than 17 kilometres per second, carrying their golden records like messages in bottles across the vast ocean of interstellar space. 
Heading in opposite directions, southward and northward out of the Solar System, it will be 40,000 years before Voyager 2 passes within a handful of light years of the closest star system along its flight path, and 296,000 years before Voyager 1 passes by the bright star Sirius.
Beyond that, we may imagine them surviving for billions of years as the only traces of a civilisation of human explorers in the far reaches of our galaxy.

Freckles, they are good

Not sure what they are putting up here.

But it's a group effort

A lot less lumber than what originally appeared to be there.

Garden Tool

Cabin Porn

Friday Open Road

Nice and clean

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lonely Outpost

Interesting conversation on the F-35

Grumman Goose

I wonder if the cat ever has a problem biting his own tongue by accident?


Well, this is cool, both for the technology and the return of the forest.

But in the 19th century, when the United States began to industrialize and expand westward, many farms were abandoned by northeasterners who moved to cities in search of factory jobs. Around 1845, Henry David Thoreau described the decline of New England farming: “Now only a dent in the earth marks the site of most of these human dwellings; sometimes the well-dent where a spring oozed, now dry and tearless grass, or covered deep—not to be discovered till late days by accident—with a flat stone under the sod.”
Centuries later, forests have reclaimed much of the land. The images above show the site of an early homestead in the Natchaug State Forest in Eastford, Connecticut. The natural-color photograph was shot during an aerial survey in 2012. The monochromatic light detection and ranging (lidar) image, captured in 2010, shows the same area with greater contrast and reveals features on the ground.