Kinda bizarre. From what I read Mary the elephant was seen killing a man, who turned out to be unqualified to handle elephants. Apparently it was determined, after Mary’s execution, that this man accidentally poked her in the area of her head where she had an infected tooth, which I guess caused her such agonising pain she couldn’t help but get angry at this man.
Mary was a five-ton Asian elephant who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. Her death is sometimes interpreted as a cautionary tale of circus animal abuse during the early 20th century.
(I got this quote from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_(elephant) but this forum doesn’t like the link so I had to link to http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tnunicoi/mary.htm in the above link)
An actual misspelled article here. I have a feeling you need to misspell your search terms. It looks like you can refresh the home page to get a different list of misspelled articles at the bottom of the page.]]>
Page by page images of the manuscript. Click on one to enlarge.]]>
A couple weeks ago, I attended Further Confusion, the second-largest furry con in the US. One of the panels was run by Dr. Samuel Conway, who is hands-down the most beloved figure in our fandom. ‘Uncle Kage’ is known for three things: One, being the Head Honcho of Anthrocon, the largest furry con. Two, his love for good wine that borders on his love for oxygen. And Three, being an amazing storyteller. Hundreds of people will pack convention halls to hear the man speak while he gleefully pickles his liver.
The panel was entitled ‘Science, Pseudoscience, and Crap’, and was quite entertaining. Being a reasonably intelligent person, and having hung around here, he presented no new information I did not already know, nor did I expect him to. That being said, it’s a pleasure to listen to him, so I sat through the panel. He did not disappoint.
The man had various things to say, describing the ways in which certain companies will shill their nostrums, fool people into handing over their money, and generally be horrible human beings. He had WORDS to say about Dr Oz, and… let’s just say that Wakefield was mentioned, and we’ll leave it at that.
Sadly, I can’t seem to find video of the panel, though I did find the version of it he did three years ago for Eurofurence (Europe’s largest furry con). A much smaller panel, with regrettable camerawork, and no powerpoint, but still entertaining to watch. First part is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIhqJD4flR8 There’s going to be a few in-jokes non-furries won’t get, but still, it’s silly fun.]]>
“Michael Markieta, a transportation planner at global engineering and design firm Arup, has spent the past year developing visualisations of flight paths crossing the globe.”]]>
Dawn of the dirigibles: The new age of the airship?
Once upon a time, the airship was hailed as the future of flight: as glamorous, luxurious and fashionable as the Art Deco era which marked its heyday.
But a series of disasters, not least the crash of the Hindenburg in New Jersey, in 1937, with the loss of 36 lives, put paid to the dreams of intercontinental Zeppelin travel.
Blimps are still a familiar sight in advertising, but those who design and build these aircraft believe there’s much more to them—and to their future—than simply signposting the local car dealership or giving TV audiences a better view of the football field during the big match.
Now, 90 years after the launch of America’s first airship, the USS Shenandoah, dirigibles and aerostats are undergoing something of a renaissance.
Among those hoping to lead the charge is California-based Aeros, which is developing what it hopes will be a revolutionary new cargo airship, the Aeroscraft, combining elements of regular ‘lighter-than-air’ (LTA) craft and traditional fixed-wing planes.
In addition, it has a magic ingredient: the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter, meaning it has no need for a runway or airfield.
The idea was developed by Kazakhstan-born engineer Igor Pasternak, who moved to the U.S. in 1994 and set up in business building advertising blimps.
He’s spent the past two decades working to solve the problems posed by traditional airships.
“I understand airships well,” he told CNN. “I’ve built a lot of them.”
His Aeroscraft is a rigid-hulled dirigible measuring a whopping 169 meters in length, with a payload of 66 tonnes (and plans for a 250 tonne version), a cruising speed of up to 120 knots, and a range of 3,100 nautical miles.
“It’s a little bit like my dream vehicle,” he said.
“In natural disasters and other situations where infrastructure is non-existent, the Aeroscraft could be used to bring in emergency supplies: food, water, blankets—66 tonnes of relief at a time,” explained the company’s communications director John Kiehle.
And while its primary purpose is likely to be logistical, moving cargo, military troops and humanitarian relief supplies into remote and inhospitable terrain, the company admits that down the line there may be other uses for the technology, from “floating hotels” to “sky yachts for millionaires.”
So far, the company has created a scaled-down version of the aircraft to prove that the design can work; the next step is a full-size prototype. The aim is to have the first Aeroscraft flying by 2016, and the initial fleet of 24 vehicles up and running by 2020 to 2021.
“This truly is a game-changer,” said Bill Feeley, the company’s director of strategic finances. “It’s a real shift in industrial technology, on a par with the building of skyscrapers, or the creation of nuclear energy.”
Pasternak and Kiehle say one of the Aeroscraft’s biggest advantages is that it runs on regular diesel, rather than expensive aviation fuel which can be tough to get hold of in the world’s more inaccessible regions.
But another airship project currently in research and development could end up being even cheaper and easier to power: innovation and engineering consultancy group Altran’s Sun Cloud is a dirigible powered by solar energy.
It’s an area the company has some experience in, having already worked on Solar Impulse, the world’s first plane powered solely by the sun.
Like Aeros’ airship, the Sun Cloud is designed to carry large loads of cargo over long distances—but the Sun Cloud is missing one component likely to be key to the Aeroscraft’s success: the pilot.
Altran’s feasibility study is examining whether it is possible to move payloads of up to 250 tonnes from place to place in what is effectively a super-sized drone.
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How French secretly filmed prison camp life in WWII
One of the most extraordinary episodes involving Allied prisoners during World War II was recently remembered in Paris.
They had been defeated in the Battle of France and marched to the furthest reaches of the Reich. In 1940, Oflag 17a must have felt a bleak, unforgiving place for the 5,000 French officers who were now prisoners-of-war.
The Austrian camp, close to the border with Czechoslovakia, was originally built for troops taking part in military exercises.
There were 40 barracks, 20 each side of a central aisle. The land was bound by two lines of barbed wire, the perimeter illuminated by floodlights.
Escape seemed almost impossible. Almost…. and it is remarkable that we can see it.
Through some extraordinary ingenuity - and cunning - the men filmed their efforts.
Their rarely seen footage is called Sous Le Manteau (Clandestinely). So professional is it that on first viewing you would be forgiven for thinking it is a post-war reconstruction.
It is in fact a 30-minute documentary, shot in secret by the prisoners themselves. Risking death, they recorded it on a secret camera built from parts that were smuggled into the camp in sausages.
The prisoners had discovered that German soldiers would only check food sent in by cutting it down the middle. The parts were hidden in the ends.
The camera they built was concealed in a hollowed-out dictionary from the camp library. The spine of the book opened like a shutter. The 8mm reels on which the film was stored were then nailed into the heels of their makeshift shoes.
It gives an incredible insight into living conditions within the camp. The scant food they were given, the searches conducted without warning by the German soldiers. They filmed it all, even the searches, right under the noses of their guards.
Tunnel after tunnel
Lt Jean Cuene-Grandidier was a former inmate, and part of the escape committee. Last month he celebrated his 100th birthday.
“In the early days we tried digging a number of tunnels from the huts in which we were barracked,” he said.
“It was viewed as a form of resistance. We were never punished. The Germans seemed to accept it, though it never worked. The distances to the wire were too great. And in any case the guards were clever. They always found the tunnels we started. They were looking for the earth we’d removed.”
The film shows the prisoners at work on one of 32 tunnels that were dug during the camp’s lifetime.
There was no forced labour and so for large parts of the day the prisoners studied. The teaching was led by senior officers, at the time some of the most intellectual men in France, and such was the high quality of the diplomas they taught that many of the qualifications were recognised after the war by the civilian authorities.
Pierre Waendendries, whose father was also a prisoner in the camp, showed us the plans of the tunnel that did eventually work.
The Germans had allowed the officers to build a theatre - dubbed the Theatre de la Verdure (Greenery Theatre). They decorated it with branches, partially obscuring the view of the guards.
The theatre was between the barracks and the wire, which meant the distance they had to dig was now much shorter.
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