Anti-Missile Missile Defense System

cage4

Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), formerly Theater High Altitude Area Defense, is a United States Army anti-ballistic missile system which is designed to shoot down short, medium, and intermediate range ballistic missiles in their terminal phase using a hit-to-kill approach. THAAD was developed after the experience of Iraq’s Scud missile attacks during the Gulf War in 1991.[4] The missile carries no warhead, but relies on the kinetic energy of impact to destroy the incoming missile. A kinetic energy hit minimizes the risk of exploding conventional warhead ballistic missiles, and nuclear tipped ballistic missiles will not detonate upon a kinetic energy hit.

thaad

Originally a US Army program, THAAD has come under the umbrella of the Missile Defense Agency. The Navy has a similar program, the sea-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, which now has a land component as well (“Aegis ashore”). THAAD was originally scheduled for deployment in 2012, but initial deployment took place in May 2008. THAAD has been deployed in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and South Korea.

thaad1

Sometimes called Kinetic Kill technology, the THAAD missile destroys missiles by colliding with them, using hit-to-kill technology, like the MIM-104 Patriot PAC-3 (although the PAC-3 also contains a small explosive warhead). This is unlike the Patriot PAC-2 which carried only an explosive warhead detonated using a proximity fuse. Although the actual figures are classified, THAAD missiles have an estimated range of 125 miles (200 km), and can reach an altitude of 93 miles (150 km). A THAAD battery consists of at least six launcher vehicles, each equipped with eight missiles, with two mobile tactical operations centers (TOCs) and the AN/TPY-2 ground-based radar (GBR); the U.S. Army plans to field at least six THAAD batteries, at a purchase cost of $800 million per battery.

FTO-02 E2a flight test

Pittsburgh: the city of hills

Being from Winnipeg, one of the flattest cities in the world, hilly cities have always intrigued me. I always thought San Francisco was the U.S. city with the most hills, but I discovered that Pittsburgh is even hillier than the California city.

The city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, the United States, is located over an unruly terrain of hills, hollows, valleys and three intersecting rivers. Back in the late 19th and early 20th century, when Pittsburgh was growing as a coal and steel town, factory workers built houses in the hills rising above the flat riverbanks that were lined with factories. In order to commute to work, city officials and residents built staircases along the hillsides, originally of wood and later with concrete that ran up and down throughout the city.

Revered American journalist Ernie Pyle famously wrote about the city in 1937:

Pittsburgh is undoubtedly the cockeyedest city in the United States. Physically, it is absolutely irrational. It must have been laid out by a mountain goat… I’ve flown over it, and driven all around it, and studied maps of it, and I hardly know one end of Pittsburgh from the other… There’s just one balm — people who live here can’t find their way around, either.

pitts

Downtown

pittsburgh-pennsylvania

pitts1

The steps

Many of the city’s neighborhoods are steeply sloped with two-lane roads. More than a quarter of Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods make reference to “hills,” “heights,” or other similar indicators by name.

The city has some 712 sets of outdoor pedestrian stairs with 44,645 treads and 24,090 vertical feet including hundreds of paper streets composed entirely of stairs and many other steep streets with stairs for sidewalks. Many provide vistas of the Pittsburgh area while attracting hikers and fitness walkers.

 

Population (2013)
 • City 305,841
 • Rank US: 62nd
 • Density 5,540/sq mi (2,140/km2)
 • Urban 1,733,853 (US: 27th)
 • Metro 2,360,867 (US: 22nd)
 • CSA 2,659,937 (US: 20th)
 • GMP $131.3 billion (23rd)

pitts2

pitts3

pitts4

pitts12

pitts5

pitts6

pitts7

pitts8

pitts9

Gigantic German Excavator

bagger_288_3

Bagger 293, previously known as the MAN TAKRAF RB293, is a giant bucket-wheel excavator made by the German industrial company TAKRAF, formerly an East German Kombinat.
It owns or shares some records for terrestrial vehicle size in the Guinness Book of Records. Bagger 293 was built in 1995, one of a group of similar sized ‘sibling’ vehicles such as the Bagger 281 (built in 1958), Bagger 285 (1975), Bagger 287 (1976), Bagger 288 (1978), Bagger 291 (1993), etc.
It is used in a brown coal mine near Hambach in Germany. It is called Bagger 293 by its current owner, RWE Power AG (the second-largest energy producer of Germany). It was called RB293 by its former owner, the brown coal company Rheinbraun, which since 1932 was already a daughter company of RWE (but during an internal reshuffle in 2003 merged with another daughter company to form RWE Power AG). Manufacturer TAKRAF generally refers to it as an excavator of the type SRs 8000.

bagger-2

bagger-11

bagger-288-outros-modelos-super-escavadeiras-eaemaquinas1

Bagger 293 is 96 metres (314.9 feet) tall (Guinness World Record for highest terrestrial vehicle, shared with Bagger 288). It is 225 metres (738.2 feet) long (same as Bagger 287), weighs 14,200 tonnes (31.3 million pounds), and requires five people to operate. It is powered by an external power source providing 16.56 megawatts. The bucket-wheel itself is over 21.3 metres (69.9 feet) in diameter with 18 buckets, each of which can hold over 15 cubic metres (529.7 cubic feet) of material.
It can move 240,000 cubic metres (218,880 tonnes) of soil per day (the same as Bagger 288).

Bagger-293-Biggest-Vehicle-Compared-To-Car (1)

Bagger-293-German-Coal-Mining-Vehicle

Ice Road Trucker Finally Breaks Through

icex1

Ice Road Truckers is a reality TV series where truckers run the winter and ice roads of northern Manitoba. They cross frozen rivers and lakes on perilous journeys that could lead to disaster. They could break through the ice and loose the truck, or worse, the drivers could drown.

During the show there are many close calls, ice cracking and water bubbling to the surface as the ice gives way. They have never actually broken through. But recently an ice road trucker broke through the surface.

However, the truck didn’t penetrate through the ice on a northern river or lake, they fell into one of Winnipeg’s giant potholes!

icex

The ice road truckers are accompanied by a myriad of support vehicles. If one would break through the ice they would promptly get rescued.

ice11

 

A Night to Dismember

Brief list of bad horror flicks.  I thought the Amityville Horror franchise flicks were really bad.  But these appear to be a heck of a lot worse according to the reviewers.

Basket Case

In Basket Case, a baby is born with a parasitic twin. A small, evil parasitic twin the size of a basket ball. It grows out of the boy’s shoulder. The boys parents decide to save the “normal” twin by having the parasitic twin surgically removed.

Fast forward a few years and now the twins are all grown up. And like all siamese twins separated at birth, in which one twin was brutally removed from the other and thrown into the garbage to die, they dream of nothing else than revenge against the surgical team that separated them.  Murderous mayhem ensues.

Frankenhooker

“She’s hot. She’s Sexy. And she’s sutured to please.” When a mad scientist loses his girlfriend to a freak lawn mower accident he decides that the best way to get a new girlfriend is to chop up some prostitutes and make a new one out of spare parts. Stupid mysogynistic trash masquerading as a horror comedy.

Cannibal Ferox (a.k.a Make Them Die Slowly)

The subtitle of this movie is “make them die slowly” and the movie certainly lives up to its name. The mindless plot involves some Americans captured by cannibals in the Amazon. There is not much plot except a series of mutilations, eye removals, and gory torture.

Eaten Alive

This is yet another Italian horror movie with a cannibal theme. Americans venture into the jungle where they encounter cannibals. Eating ensues.

 

Erotic Nights of the Living Dead (1979)

A sleazy zombie cheesefest with horrible dubbing of English over the original Italian dialogue. The mouths are out of synch with the sound which adds to the fun.

A classic in the Euro-Horror zombie genre. Gratuitous sex and horrible acting. So bad its almost good.

 

A Night to Dismember

A female murderer is released from an insane assylum, suposedly cured. Then the body count begins. The film is dreadful on almost every level: the sound is awful (where are the foley artists when you need them?), the cinematography is lousy, the plot and acting are D-grade. The whole mess doesn’t make sense, so the director added a narrator that valiantly tries to make sense of the movie and explain the plot to you. The movie must be seen in order to appreciate just how brilliantly awful it is.

Night of the Bloody Apes

It’s the night of the Bloody Apes – well, actually, only one bloody ape. And he’s not really all ape, either.

You see, it seems that a mad scientist had a son with a heart defect. So he gives his son a heart from an ape, which naturally turns his meek, weakling son into a ferocious, murdering, sex crazed monkey man. What else would you expect? 🙂

 

Cannibal! The Musical
You may think that the title says it all. But no, there’s more.

The movie tells the fictionalized story of Alfred Packer, a real life 1890s pioneer who got lost in the Colorado wilderness and ended up eating his fellow expedition members. The story shifts incongruously from schmaltzy musical numbers to gory scenes of human hors d’oeuvres. One reviewer described the movie as “The Musical is Oklahoma meets Bloodsucking Freaks.”

Gingerdread Man

The ashes from an excuted killer are mixed into some cookie dough and naturally the killer comes back as a huge knife wielding murdering Ginger Bread Man. Awesome schlock, made even “better” by the fact that Gary Busey plays the part of the Gingerbread Man. Just try to picture it. The horror, the horror.

Santa’s Slay

It seems that truly bad horror movies always try to be clever by using an obvious pun in their title. For example: Gingerdread Man, or the awful Santa’s Slay, about a murderous Santa Claus.

What’s even funnier is that the killer Santa is played by talented actor and former wrestling star Bill Goldberg. Need I say more?

That’s all folks!