Month: May 2023
Ripple Rock Big Blast
Ripple Rock is an underwater mountain located in the Seymour Narrows of the Discovery Passage in British Columbia, Canada. It had two peaks (2.74 metres and 6.4 metres below the surface at low tide) that produced large, dangerous eddies from the strong tidal currents that flowed around them at low tide. Ships transiting the strait preferred to wait until slack tide in order to safely bypass the rock.
The hazardous nature of the rock prompted the Canadian government to remove the top of the mountain in a controlled explosion on 5 April 1958. The event was one of the first live coast-to-coast television broadcasts of an event in Canada and was designated a National Historic Event of Canada.
The rock was first noted by explorer George Vancouver in 1791, describing it as “one of the vilest stretches of water in the world”.
The first known large ship to fall prey to Ripple Rock was the sidewheel steamer Saranac in 1875, as it was heading north to Alaska. At least 20 large and 100 smaller vessels were badly damaged or sunk between then and 1958. At least 110 people drowned in these accidents.
In the 1860s a plan was started to link Vancouver Island to the mainland at Bute Inlet, using Ripple Rock as a mid-support for the bridge. This plan continued through the years, and caused political opposition to destroying Ripple Rock, until it was decided to destroy the rock to improve safety for mariners.
As early as 1931, a marine commission recommended removing Ripple Rock, but it was not until 1942 that the government authorized attempts to remove it and issued the first contract to do so.
In 1953, the National Research Council of Canada commissioned a feasibility study on the idea of planting a large explosive charge underneath the peaks by drilling vertical and horizontal shafts from Maude Island in the sound. Based on the study, this approach was recommended. Dolmage and Mason Consulting Engineers were retained to plan the project, and three firms, Northern Construction Company, J.W. Stewart Limited and Boyles Brothers Drilling Company, were granted the contract, which cost in excess of 3 million Canadian dollars (equivalent to $28,585,714 CAD in 2018).
Although not planned as a test for nuclear weapons purposes, this large underground explosion at Ripple Rock was of interest to nuclear weapons scientists at the United Kingdom’s Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston, which sent a delegation to Canada and set up various monitoring instruments to record data from the explosion. Little more is known of their objectives, although there are detailed accounts in two declassified documents in the National Archives in London.
Between November 1955 and April 1958, a three-shift operation involving an average of 75 men worked to build 150 metres (500 ft) of vertical shaft from Maude Island, 720 metres (2,370 ft) of horizontal shaft to the base of Ripple Rock, and two main vertical shafts up into the twin peaks, from which “coyote” shafts were drilled for the explosives. The contract was awarded to two firms for $2,639,000. At the time of the contract it was estimated the tunnels and shafts would not be completed until either 1957 or 1958. 1,270 metric tonnes of Nitramex 2H explosive was placed in these shafts, estimated at ten times the amount needed for a similar explosion above water.
The explosion took place at 9:31:02 am on 5 April 1958. 635,000 metric tons of rock and water were displaced by the explosion, spewing debris at least 300 metres in the air which fell on land on either side of the narrows. The blast increased the clearing at low tide to about 14 metres (45 feet). After this, its two peaks were 13.7 m (45 ft) and 15.2 m (50 ft) underwater.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had cleared the area of people within 5 kilometres (3 mi) of the explosion, and the engineers and TV crew that witnessed the explosion were housed in a bunker.
The explosion was noted as one of the largest non-nuclear planned explosions on record, though Soviet authorities reported a larger explosion in the Ural Mountains to carve a new channel for the Kolonga River and in China to open a copper mine.
A sports team named after a steamed sausage
The Chicago Dogs are an independent professional baseball team based in Rosemont, Illinois. They are members of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an official Partner League of Major League Baseball. They began play in 2018 and play home games at the 6,300-seat Impact Field. The team’s branding alludes to the Chicago-style hot dog, a local street food.
The mascot of the Chicago Dogs is Squeeze, a fuzzy yellow creature who resembles a squeeze bottle of mustard.
Famous Chicago Style Hot Dog.
Deep penetration nuclear-armed supersonic bomber
The United States bomber described below is one of the most remarkable aircraft ever developed. It could fly very high and very fast. However, the introduction of high-altitude surface to air missiles (SAM’s)made the deployment of such a bomber impractical. The project was cancelled with only two prototype aircraft built. These bombers were the most sleek looking big aircraft ever built.
The North American Aviation XB-70 Valkyrie was the prototype version of the proposed B-70 nuclear-armed deep penetration bomber for the United States Air Force’s Strategic Air Command. Designed by North American Aviation in the late 1950s, the Valkyrie was a large six-engined aircraft able to fly Mach 3+ at an altitude of 70,000 ft (21,000 m), which would have allowed it to avoid interceptors, the only effective anti-bomber weapon at the time.
The introduction of effective high-altitude surface-to-air missiles, the program’s high development costs, and changes in the technological environment with the introduction of ICBMs led to the cancellation of the B-70 program in 1961. Although the proposed fleet of operational B-70 bombers was cancelled, two prototype aircraft were built as the XB-70A and used in supersonic test flights from 1964 to 1969. One prototype crashed following a midair collision in 1966; the other is on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio.
Designed for high-altitude flight, the B-70 lost this edge to improved Soviet high-altitude, anti-aircraft missiles. The aircraft would become increasingly vulnerable at high altitudes as newer missile systems were introduced, and at low altitudes it lost its supersonic performance and range. Using the original Mach 3 high altitude mission profile, the aircraft had a design range of 6,447 nmi (7,419 mi, 11,940 km) without refueling, but flying over the target area “on-the-deck” at Mach 0.95 reduced range to 5,312 nmi (6,113 mi, 9,838 km), even with in-flight refueling. Realizing that the bomber would not be practical combined with high cost overruns President Eisenhower cancelled the project in 1959. Both Presidents Kennedy and Johnson subsequently left the program cancelled.
The experimental XB-70As were used for the advanced study of aerodynamics, propulsion, and other subjects related to large supersonic transports. The production order was reduced to three prototypes in March 1961 with the third aircraft to incorporate improvements from the previous prototype. The crew was reduced to only the pilot and co-pilot for the XB-70; the navigator and bomb-aimer were not needed. The first XB-70 was completed on 7 May 1964 (the second on 15 October 1964), and XB-70A #1 was displayed on 11 May 1964 in Palmdale, California. One report claimed “nothing like it existed anywhere“. The planned third prototype was canceled in July 1964 while being built. The first XB-70 had its maiden flight in September 1964 and flight testing followed.
The XB-70 flight test data and materials development aided the later Rockwell B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber program, the US supersonic transport program and, through intelligence, the Soviet Tupolev Tu-144. The development of the US U-2 and SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft along with the B-70 bomber led the Soviet Union to design and develop the MiG-25 interceptor.
The Valkyrie was designed to be a high-altitude bomber-sized Mach 3 aircraft with six engines. Harrison Storms (engineer who designed the command module for the Apollo program) shaped the aircraft with a canard surface and a delta wing, which was built largely of stainless steel, sandwiched honeycomb panels, and titanium. The XB-70 was designed to use supersonic technologies developed for the Mach 3 Navaho, as well as a modified form of the SM-64 Navaho’s all-inertial guidance system.
The XB-70 used compression lift, which was generated from a prominent wedge at the center of the engine inlets that created a shock wave below the aircraft. The wing included inboard camber to more effectively use the higher pressure field behind the strong shock wave (the airflow at the XB-70 wing’s leading edge was subsonic). The compression lift increased the lift by five percent. Unique among aircraft of its size, the outer portions of the wings were hinged, and could be pivoted downward by up to 65 degrees. This increased the aircraft’s directional stability at supersonic speeds, shifted the center of lift to a more favorable position at high speeds, and strengthened the compression lift effect. With the wingtips drooped downwards, the compression lift shock wave would be further trapped under the wings.
On 8 June 1966, XB-70A #2 was in close formation with four other aircraft (an F-4, F-5, T-38, and F-104) for a photoshoot at the behest of General Electric, manufacturer of the engines of all five aircraft. With the photoshoot complete, the F-104 drifted into contact with the XB-70’s right wing, flipped over and rolled inverted over the top of the Valkyrie, striking the vertical stabilizers and left wing of the bomber. The F-104 exploded, destroying the Valkyrie’s rudders and damaging its left wing. With the loss of both rudders and damage to the wings, the Valkyrie entered an uncontrollable spin and crashed into the ground north of Barstow, California. NASA Chief Test Pilot Joe Walker (F-104 pilot) and Carl Cross (XB-70 co-pilot) were killed. Al White (XB-70 pilot) ejected, sustaining serious injuries, including one arm being crushed as it was caught in the clamshell-like escape capsule as it closed around him just before ejection from the aircraft.
The formation of aircraft shortly after the collision on 8 June 1966.
- Length: 185 ft 10 in(56.6 m)
- Wingspan:105 ft 0 in (32 m)
- Height:30 ft 9 in (9.4 m)
- Wing area:6,296 ft² (585 m²)
- Airfoil:Hexagonal; 0.30 Hex modified root, 0.70 Hex modified tip
- Empty weight: 210,000 lb(93,000 kg)
- Loaded weight:534,700 lb (242,500 kg)
- Max takeoff weight:550,000 lb (250,000 kg)
- Powerplant:6 × General Electric YJ93-GE-3 afterburning turbojet
- Dry thrust: 19,900 lbf (84 kN) each
- Thrust with afterburner: 28,800 lbf (128 kN) each
- Maximum speed: Mach 3.1 (2,056 mph, 3,309 km/h)
- Cruise speed:Mach 3.0 (2,000 mph, 3,200 km/h)
- Range: 3,725 nmi (4,288 mi, 6,900 km) combat
- Service ceiling:77,350 ft (23,600 m)
- Wing loading:84.93 lb/ft² (414.7 kg/m²)
- lift-to-drag: about 6 at Mach 2
- Thrust/weight: 0.314
India puts Gujarat lions on trial after three people killed
Officials in India have “arrested” 18 lions as they try to find a man eater suspected of killing three people.
Forest officials in Gujarat state will test the lions’ prints and excrement in an attempt to identify the killer.
The “guilty lion” will be kept in a zoo for life while the others will be released back into the Gir sanctuary, the officials told BBC Hindi.
Six attacks on humans have been reported recently near the sanctuary, the only habitat of the Asiatic lion.
Gujarat’s top forest official, JA Khan, said that the lions had been “arrested” over the past two months and were now being held in separate cages while tests were carried out.
“We think we have pinpointed the guilty lion, but we are still awaiting the results of nine more animals,” he said.
Innocent lions will be released back into the Gir forest
Wildlife expert Ruchi Dave told the BBC that the “tests” involved studying the pug marks and faecal matter of the lions.
“The officials are also studying the animals’ behaviour. Man eating lions usually get aggressive at the sight of a human being,” she said.
Another wildlife expert Revtubha Raizada said the man-eating lion would be caged for the rest of its life, as it was too unsafe to release it back into the wild.
Some experts feel that the thriving lion population in Gir forest is to blame for the “unusual” behaviour by the lions.
Govind Patel, the former chief wildlife warden of Gujarat, told the Indian Express newspaper that Gir could accommodate only 270 lions, forcing some prides to settle outside the boundaries of the sanctuary.
India’s Supreme Court has ruled that Gujarat needed to relocate some of its lions to other states to avoid the possibility of disease or other disaster wiping out the entire population.
However the state has expressed reluctance and has not yet complied with the order.
Six cases of lions attacking humans have been recently reported near the Gir forest
The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica), also known as the Indian lion or Persian lion, is a lion subspecies that exists as a single population in India’s Gujarat state. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN due to its small population size. Since 2010, the lion population in the Gir Forest National Park has steadily increased.
In May 2021, the 14th Asiatic Lion Census was conducted over an area of about 20,000 km2 (7,700 sq mi); the lion population was estimated at 523 individuals, comprising 109 adult males, 201 adult females and 213 cubs.
Asiatic lion at Gir Forest National Park.
Risks of being an Educator
Sporting goods store in Texas giving teachers a discount on guns
Sorry state of affairs in the U.S.A.