I’m pretty sure this was supposed to be an April Fool’s day joke from BMW or ultimatecarpage.com or whatever, but so what? Honestly, this would be the only BMW made within the last ten years that I’d actually want.
Sometimes I wish car companies would stop taking themselves so seriously. Vehicles like this would be a blast to own.
A few days ago, two senior colonels from the Libyan Air Force supposedly defected to the island of Malta in hopes of seeking asylum from their home country. The pilots told police officials that they were ordered by the Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi to attack a crowd of civilian protestors and, since that’s a bat shit crazy thing to demand, they fled the country in protest.
At first glance I viewed this story as a righteous and rare act of defiance and nothing more. But then I thought to myself “what if they actually carried out their mission?”. Obviously they would’ve killed a lot of people, but I wanted to go further into the details. I wanted to learn about the weaponry and the devastation it would’ve caused. Figuring I could get a better understanding of how insane Gadhafi actually was and how brave his protestors must be, I dove right in. What I found was that, if this scenario was played out in the way it was intended, nothing short of a massacre would’ve taken place.
First off, let’s start with the planes. Both men we’re flying Dassault Mirage F-1D’s, a general purpose air-to-ground or air-to-air single seat fighter made by France in the late 70’s. The pilots stated that their original orders were to bomb the crowd, which means they could’ve used any number of devastating ordnances that are capable of attachingto the F-1’s wing pylons. It’s pretty obviously what kind of damage, for instance, a 200-pound dumb bomb could do when dropped on a crowd of people, so I won’t go into that.
For imaginations sake, let’s say the pilot’s took mercy on the crowd and only used their guns. Like many French aircraft built during the late-70’s and early 80’s, the F-1 was equipped with two-DEFA 553 cannons with 150 rounds per gun. These cannons used 30mm x 113mm rounds, commonly used to shred through fuel tanks on aircraft and wreak havoc on armored personal carriers. As far as I know, 30mm rounds generally aren’t used on “soft targets” (i.e. people) because it’d pretty much be a waste of ammo. A 30mm slug wouldn’t just punch a hole through a human; it’d vaporize them.
Now place yourself in the middle of one of these protests in Libya. As you walk through the crowd of men, women and children, you look up to see a faint silhouette of two military jets orbiting the mass of people. Suddenly, both planes turn in formation towards the crowd and open fire. I could only guess what a scene like this would look like firsthand , as I’ve fortunately never seen the business end of a fighter jet’s live cannon. However, I’ve watched enough footage to understand that a situation like this would be a horror show. Blood and body parts would be exploding around you as if you were in a cheap old horror movie. There wouldn’t be enough time to react. The crowd of innocent and hopeful civilians would be obliterated in a flash, all in the pursuit of freedom from a tyrannical government.
It’s hard to say whether or not those protestors were willing to become martyr’s, but I’m sure they all knew the risk was there. They’re ready to face Gadhafi head on, which is essentially saying they’re ready to give up everything for their country’s freedom. It’s a poetic and inspiring notion, but too often the outcome is tragic. Despite the pilot’s peaceful protests, many Libyan protestors have already been cut down by the hand of Gadhafi’s military. It’s a sad state of affairs, but I for one believe that, with a few more acts of heroism such as the one displayed by the Libyan pilots, a regime change in Libiya is on the horizon.
I’ve noticed recently that, while the construction of automobiles has changed drastically in the past 50 years, commercial jet airliners haven’t changed much since their inception. Sure, the electronics and building techniques have drastically improved, but the power plants and overall shape have remained the same. I find this all a bit disappointing, as air travel to me is still the pinnacle of transportation. I’d hate to see everyone driving carbon neutral cars around while loud, costly and environmentally harmful jet liners streak across the sky.
Thankfully, neither would NASA.
NASA is partnering up with various and assorted aeronautical organizations to create a set of designs based around the idea of what commercial air transportation should look like in 2025-2035. Out of the many designs presented on the website, three really stood out. Lockheed’s supersonic airliner concept is a fascinating prospect, and MIT’s Hybrid Wing H-body aircraft certainly looks like it’d serve as an adequate replacement to the world’s current fleet of heavy lifting cargo aircraft. However, the most enticing is probably Boeing’s SUGAR (Subsonic Ultra-Green Aircraft Research) concept. Powered by twin gas turbine/battery power plants, the SUGAR has the ability to carry 154 passengers across the continental U.S. at roughly 520mph. That’s comparable to the Boeing 737, and I could imagine the SUGAR would be much cheaper and easier to maintain.
Alright, it’s time to post something that doesn’t involve shitty photoshops or lame sports rants. I know in the long run it really doesn’t matter because nobody cares about what I post, but at least I’d feel better about my tumblr if I discussed something outside the usual detritus.
I’ve felt for some time now that the 1935 Squire 1500 Markham Roadster has represented the epitome of sports car design in the 30’s, although I could never hash out exactly why. I suppose I’m fond of it’s subdued elegance. The grille is sloped just enough to give the illusion of aerodynamics, while the wide stance and low-slung seating position suggest it’s sporting intentions. In fact, I think it looks like a classy version of a modern day hot-rod. It’s simply magnificent.
However, up until today, I’ve never really had a reason to adore the Squire beyond it’s aesthetics. I mean, it’s pretty, but so are a lot of other cars from the 30’s. The Squire truely became special to me after a little bit of research. As it turns out, these are some pretty interesting cars.
First off, Squire was founded by a man named Adrian Squire in 1931. What makes this unique is that Mr. Squire was in his early 20’s in 1931, although he already had experience working with Bentley and MG. Still, creating a car company from scratch in any era is exceedingly difficult, especially for someone under 30. Squire’s dream was to create a sports car that would rival the very best the world had to offer. He started off by building around the one area his competitors lacked: handling. The Squire’s frame was built to be very rigid, allowing the car itself to be softly sprung. This attribute, combined with the oversized 15.5 inch Magnesium (!) brakes, gave the Squire unbelievable road-going characteristics.
What I found admirable was the fact that Squire decided not to use a mass produced engine and instead went for a lesser known power plant, the Azani R1. Coupled with a supercharger, the R1 produced around 110hp. While this number may not be mind-blowing in today’s world, keep in mind the little R1 was only 1500cc’s. That’s nearly 100hp per liter, which is a very respectable number to this day. The Squire also had a pre-select gearbox, which I admittedly know little about. I believe it was similar to the type of gearbox’s used on the grand prix cars of it’s era.
Unfortunately, the Squire was much too expensive for what it was, and only 10 were produced before the company ceased production in 1937. Nine Squires remain, with only one coming to market in the past decade. So, not only was the Squire 1500 beautiful, it was also extremely advanced and possibly very quick. My only hope is to possibly see one of these gems in person. That’d be pretty cool.
Mike Shanahan has lost it. Only a few days after benching Donovan McNabb for the season, coach Shanahan announces that he’d love for McNabb to be on the 2011 Redskins… as a backup. Seriously? Behind who? Rex Grossman? I doubt I’d find another coach in the NFL who would make that same decision.
It’s utterly perplexing. I understand McNabb wasn’t having the greatest of seasons, but it wasn’t horrible. I mean, he was working with a very thin receiving corps, no running game and a questionable offensive line. And let’s not forget the defense attempting to thrive in a complex switch from a 4-3 base to a 3-4. All these shortcomings add up to a team that’s obviously in a transition year. I wouldn’t call it a rebuilding because they have the proper personnel, but there’s been a huge change in both offensive and defensive strategy that may take a few seasons to catch on in D.C. So if Shanahan has no problem being patient with his team, why can’t he be patient with McNabb? The man has certainly proven himself in the league, and I still think he’s a top-10 QB in the NFL.
Personally, if McNabb is leaving, I think the ‘skins should go after a guy like Jon Kitna. He’s proven himself as a starter this season, and there’s no place for him on that Cowboy’s squad as soon as Romo is healthy. Kitna is a very seasoned veteran with a good work ethic and great decision making skills. If the front office in D.C. decides to draft/ sign a steady if unremarkable RB and the defense returns to its dominant form, Kitna has the ability to thrive in a “game-manager” type role. He wouldn’t make the pro-bowl, but he can run the offense well if the skill players perform, although he obviously wouldn’t be a long-term solution.
I personally feel that McNabb’s future superbowl ring is waiting for him in Minnesota. I couldn’t imagine a better fit for him right now than the Vikings. I’m not sure who made this comment the other day when I was watching the Vikings on TV, but they noted that Minnesota was built to play with a lead. They have a quick-strike offense and an all-or-nothing defense capable of racking up sacks if they’re allowed to pin their ears back and have at it. They’ve proven this year that they’re nearly incapable of coming back from any sort of real deficit, though, as their d-line can’t play the run and the secondary is too slow to cover anyone.
However, McNabb is used to that and seems to work well with that kind of game plan. Philadelphia has always run that sort of team under the Andy Reid era. Score big in the first and try your damndest to keep a lead until the 4th quarter runs out. It’s not the safest philosophy in the NFL, but it’s sure worked for both Reid and McNabb. With deep-threat receivers like Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin, and a potential legend like Adrian Peterson running the ball, McNabb should have no problems letting loose and scoring points on a massive scale. Moreover, he’d be embraced and heralded in Minnesota. He’ll serve as a mentor to both young QB’s while effectively garnering respect from the other vet’s. Best of all, McNabb still has a 2-3 good seasons left in him, so he’d have a few chances to really take a shot at the crown.
I, for one, would love to see McNabb glorified instead of vilified. He doesn’t deserve the shit he’s taken, although he is kind of a dope. Likewise, I’d like to see the Redskins franchise flourish once again. Their fans are too dedicated to be treated in such a despicable way. Mike Shanahan better know what he’s doing, because the rest of the world doesn’t.