The Ankole

Ankole in Umutara province in Rwanda

The Ankole is a breed or group of breeds of African cattle, belonging to the broad Sanga cattle grouping of African breeds.  It was probably introduced to Uganda between five and seven hundred years ago by nomadic pastoralists from more northerly parts of the continent. It is distributed in much of eastern and central Africa, particularly in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and parts of Tanzania.  There are at least five distinct regional strains, some of which may be reported as breeds in their own right.

Natural horns of Ankole Bull

Watusi in Uganda

U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle flying at low level over Norway

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Cool GoPro footage shot by 492nd and 493rd Fighter Squadrons during Arctic Fighter Meet 2016.

From May 23 to 27, the 48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath, trained alongside the Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish air forces during exercise Arctic Fighter Meet 2016.

Seven jets (F-15C and F-15E) from the 492nd and 493rd Fighter Squadrons deployed to Bodø airbase, Norway, to conduct BFM (basic fighter maneuvers) and DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) to improve combined air operations.

The Arctic Fighter Meet gave the U.S. pilots the opportunity to train with the “Nordics”: Finnish Air Force F-18s, Royal Norwegian Air Force F-16s and Swedish Air Force Gripens. “That allows us to get a different perspective on how other aircraft maneuver because when we go to war, we don’t expect to fight other F-15s” said Maj. Nick Norgaard, the Arctic Fighter Meet 2016 project officer in a release.

The joint training gave also the Eagle pilots a chance to shoot some interesting GoPro footage.

Alaska based F-15E

An F-15E Strike Eagle flys over glacial fields during a training mission April 20 over Alaska. The F-15E is assigned to the 90th Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, which traces its history back to August 1917. The F-15E at Elmendorf AFB will soon be replaced by the F-22 Raptor. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown)

“Elephant Walk” of 70 F-15E Strike Eagles of the US Air Force’s 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, April 16th 2012.

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Now that is one hell of a lot of punch! And one hell of a major expense!

The Sand and Water Pits Northeast of Winnipeg 

Just northeast of the city of Winnipeg are huge gravel pits known as the Garven pits.  Geological formations where there is unlimited fine sand/gravel deposits.  The pits also have some the clearest and bluest water in the area. Many people go swimming in the pits even though it is illegal. A very interesting combination, huge pools of clean water and what looks like gigantic beaches.

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A barge dredging the bottom of the pit.

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Just outside the pits are the blooming canola fields.

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Wishful Thinking!

A peculiar piece of footage from England shows a puzzling winged anomaly, which some have likened to the legendary Tooth Fairy, fluttering outside a family’s home. The strange scene was reportedly captured last Sunday evening by the doorbell camera of Alicia Stoddart’s residence in the town of Hemel Hempstead. While visiting her parent’s house in the community of Clacton that night, the security system alerted her to something strange happening back at her home. When she checked her phone to see what had triggered the camera, Stoddart was stunned to see what appears to be a small white figure bearing a sizeable set of wings.

“My first thought was ‘oh my God, it’s a fairy,'” she recalled, “we were racking our brains trying to think of what it could be and Googling possible culprits.” However, Stoddart says, they were unable to find what sort of prosaic creature could account for the sprite-like anomaly. “None were matching the outline and size of the image,” she explained, leaving her family “convinced it’s the Tooth Fairy.” As one might imagine, Stoddart’s three children were particularly enchanted by the video, specifically her son, who is “a believer of all things magical” and just so happens to sporting a loose tooth at the moment.

No doubt skeptical observers will suggest that the ‘fairy’ in the footage is simply an insect, perhaps a moth, that flew past the camera and its supernatural appearance is simply a trick of light and shadow. While that is very likely the case, Stoddart mused “we all need a bit of magic and belief in our lives,” especially during these tumultuous times. Can you identify the curious visitor who stopped by the family’s house last Sunday evening?

Meatloaf has expired

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022), better known as Meat Loaf, was an American singer and actor. He was noted for his powerful, wide-ranging voice and theatrical live shows. His Bat Out of Hell trilogy—Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose—has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide. The first album stayed on the charts for over nine years and more than four decades after its release still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually, making it one of the best-selling albums in history.

After the commercial success of Bat Out of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell, and earning a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love”, Aday nevertheless experienced some difficulty establishing a steady career within the United States. This did not stop him from becoming one of the best-selling music artists of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 100 million records. The key to this success was his retention of iconic status and popularity in Europe, especially the United Kingdom, where he received the 1994 Brit Award for best-selling album and single, appeared in the 1997 film Spice World, and ranked 23rd for the number of weeks spent on the UK charts in 2006. He ranks 96th on VH1’s “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”.

Snow falls in Algeria’s Sahara Desert

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.

Snow has fallen in the Sahara Desert in north-western Algeria as temperatures plummeted to below freezing.

Picture dated January 6th shows a covering of snow in the Sahara Desert near Mekalis in northwestern Algeria.

For children from nearby towns such as Mekalis, it was a welcome relief from the scorching heat of the world’s largest hot desert.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.

The ice crystals formed stunning patterns in the desert sands.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.

Dunes – ideal for sliding – were also partially covered by the snow and ice.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.

The snow in the town of Ain Sefra – known as the gateway to the Sahara Desert – was only a light dusting.

Picture dated January 8th shows a covering of snow and ice in the Sahara Desert near Ain Sefra in northwestern Algeria.

Temperatures in the town, which is surrounded by the Atlas mountains, dropped below -2 for the last three nights but this is only a few degrees colder than average at this time of year, says BBC Weather’s Nicky Berry.

Picture dated January 6th shows a covering of snow in the Sahara Desert near Mekalis in northwestern Algeria.

The snow was not a complete surprise – there were also falls in 2021, 2018 and 2017.

Snow in the Sahara desert near the town of Ain Sefra, Algeria Snow in the Sahara Desert, Ain Sefra, Algeria - 20 Dec 2016

But the snow on the red sand dunes in December 2016 did come as a shock. Residents of Ain Sefra said that it was the first time since 1979 they had seen snow, suggesting the phenomenon is now becoming more common.