WW2 & The Origins Of Radar
:World War II led to an explosion of new technologies that would have profound effects in the postwar period. Although advanced Nazi aircraft, guided weapons, and long-range rockets are well known, in reality the Allies led the Germans in many fields, and not only had more resources to draw from but were much better organized to exploit their new inventions. The atomic bomb is the most spectacular example of Allied technical superiority, but just as significantly, the Allies developed radar and other new "electronic warfare" technologies at a rate that left the Axis in the dust. Winston Churchill called the race for electronic superiority the "Wizard War". This document provides a history of the Wizard War.
In 2009, Jon Gosselin was offered $365,000 for interviews: how reality stars, celebrity parents and rehab workers make money selling gossip
to celebrity websites and TV shows.
Ever wondered about the gadgets air traffic controllers use to get you back on the ground? The folks over at Ars Technica have a overview of the technology of air traffic control
. [more inside]
Your mother has eyes in the back of her head. Chicago Public Schools
sends parents a text message when their child is not in class or the kid's grades slip. Mayor Daley attends a demonstration.
Chicago is not the only school district to use this technology. It's used in Calloway County, Kentucky
. Memphis, Tennessee
, and Saratoga Springs, New York
, to name a few.
It's not just used for monitoring your kids' grades. In San Antonio, you can also monitor the presidential propaganda
that's fed to your kids!
But what if you want to monitor the text messages your kids receive? Radar
alerts you when a "suspicious" person texts, calls, or emails your kid
In a single 1931 document
, electrical engineer Alan Blumlein
patented stereo records, stereo movie sountracks and surround sound. His equipment was used to make some of the first stereo recordings
at EMI's Abbey Road studios - several decades before the technology came into popular use. Blumlein went on to pioneer 405 line TV
(the first wholly electronic format which won out over John Logie Baird's rival system) and to produce the equipment that made the first outside TV broadcast
possible. At the outbreak of World War 2 he was a key architect of the secret H2S
radar project. Unfortunately he was killed in a plane crash while testing the technology and the whole incident was kept secret. Hence he remains an obscure figure despite his achievements. A recent BBC Radio 4 program
contains a lot of the archive stereo footage and tells his story.
may have gotten busted, but his generation is taking over. Millenials are everywhere -- and while some people
welcome our bright-eyed, tech-savvy overlords, Gen-X is steadfastly unimpressed
They claimed they would destroy all television with their business.
$100 million and one cast member of First Kid
later, all they had were massive amounts of failure, tremendous parties with Bryan Singer, and many, many, many allegations of sexual molestation. Now they hide in the Spanish Riviera and hire Chinese sweatshop workers to mine for World of Warcraft items. Check as well the original 2000 LA Times expose on the company
, to say nothing of the "gay pedophile version of Silver Spoons"
which remains their finest artistic achievement. via boingboing [more inside]
Report: Israel 'blinded' Syrian radar.
After Israeli missile strike on Syria confirmed by both sides, the question remains – how did Israel's non-stealth jets infiltrate Syrian airspace undetected? US aerospace experts tell Aviation Week
magazine that Israel used new US-developed technology
that lets users invade and manipulate enemy communication networks
Radar picks the worst colleges in America.
At least one of the picks is rather dubious, although I suppose being the "worst" Ivy League is a position of some note, and another one of the picks was where my school's valedictorian went. Either way, it's always nice to see the Moonies somersaulting into otherwise non-Moonie related stories.
High resolution images of Earth.
The German satellite TerraSAR-X was shot into space on June 15, and already four days after sent some beautiful pictures back to Earth. Pictures are described in German, but you'll figure it out.
The Prisoners of YouTube
is a pretty good longish article on all the reluctant internet video celebs, including Star Wars Kid
, the Numa Numa Kid
, and more. It's an interesting look at the downside of unwarranted attention and how a few people have turned these embarrassing moments in the sun to their advantage.
Tales from the DEW Line.
In the mid-50's, the Distant Early Warning, or DEW Line
, a series of radar stations along the 69th paralell, began scanning the arctic skies for signs of soviet bombers. Though cut off from direct contact with civilization, and often hoping that nothing would happen, staffers of these remote outposts still found plenty worth writing about or photographing (1
The President's call for a troop surge
in Iraq will likely be a headache for military recruiters, who have already had to relax standards
to (barely) meet their quotas. But just how desperate are they for warm bodies? Radar prank called recruiting stations around the country disguised as a veritable Breakfast Club
of misfit would-be soldiers, all dramatically unqualified or unattractive for service in some way. The resulting transcripts are hysterically funny
(the writer poses as a flamboyantly gay man, a mama's boy, a martial arts freak, a junkie, an IBS sufferer and a lobotomy patient). The recruiters turn out not to be quite as sleazy as you might imagine, but the conversations are priceless.
Getting rich by getting it wrong
How the elite pundits who pushed the war profited in money and prominence, despite being completely wrong. Mean while many pundits who opposed the war from the start were sidelined
"From the first world war until the 30's air acoustics
played an important role in the air defence. Air vehicles carrying a weapon could not be located from the ground e.g. at night time or under cloudy conditions. As radar was still to be discovered, vision had to be supplemented
using the sound of the engines."
FedEx Thunderstorm Deviations.
"FAA radar track sequence of a bank of FedEx aircraft getting into Memphis as thunderstorms pass over the airport" (Google video). I'm having Rip Off
How busy is LAX?
Take a look! Zoom out to 96 Miles and it looks like a busy anthill.
The Wildlife Art of Radar O'Reilly
Gary Burghoff is a star of many art forms who has expanded his multi-faceted career to include that of wildlife artist.
More NMD to make you nervous.
If you're in an area about to be vapourised then you are safe. If you live anywhere else you are not. I live about half a blast radius away from one of the radar stations
in the UK (it doesn't look like that picture anymore - some of the golfballs are now pyramids). From direct assault I maybe won't be hit but the bombs falling out of the sky on their way from Iraq to New York are pretty much going to land on my head. Cool.