In this day and age, we take unmanned vehicles (aerial, ground, or even maritime) as a matter of course. First born in the early days of military flight as a way to provide targets (and later adapted for reconnaissance after the U-2 shootdown in 1960), they are almost always still piloted by a human remotely, even today. Lieutenant Gary Foust proved in a cold 1970 flight that it was possible for an aircraft to land itself. The F-106 Delta Dart was about in the middle of its operational history, and was designed as a supercharged F-102, serving as the interceptor of the "century series" aircraft (the incident's name, "Cornfield Bomber" is a bit of misnomer in that the aircraft wasn't a bomber). On a routine training flight on February 2nd, Lt. Foust was assigned to the 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (based at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana). When his aircraft entered a flat spin, he couldn't regain control, and after deploying his drag chute failed, he ejected at 15,000 feet (4,600 m). And odd combination of an altered center of gravity (an ejection seat weighs quite a bit) and the aircraft coincidentally being throttled at idle and trimmed for takeoff allowed it to recover itself automatically and descend gradually into a snow-covered cornfield. Before his fighter landed gently (relatively) and skidded to a halt, his flight lead advised the parachuting Foust that "you'd better get back in it!". The aircraft was recovered quickly with so little damage that one officer wanted to try taking off from the site (it was instead recovered by rail and was one of the last F-106s to be retired from Air Force service).
|Aircraft 58-0787 in Big Sandy, Montana, note the melted snow from engine heat.|
|This patent application features a bell, viewing window, and air tube.|
|A screenshot from a Korean Central News Agency episode.|
I've been catching up on my Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on Netflix, and while watching season 9, saw the episode "Avatar". Aside from utterly butchering the concept of video gaming, I was intrigued by the idea of sexsomnia. A type of parasomnia (most people think of sleepwalking), the afflicted perform sexual acts while in REM sleep, and generally don't recall the act upon waking. It could be anything as simple as a wet dream accompanied by a bit of masturbation, to full-on coitus with a bed partner, to a few cases of rape (in fact, several Commonwealth rape charges have been dropped when sexsomnia was proven). It was first written about by a trip of Canadian doctors in 1996, and while it has gained acceptance in some nations (hence the acquittals), it's not yet part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (and not scheduled to be included in DSM-5 in the next few years).
I don't believe I've mentioned before my Boy Scouting youth. One of my fondest memories was the fraternity and camaraderie we shared, staying up late at night to tell stories, make up jokes, and play games. While we tended towards card games (yes, even Magic cards), we played a lot of other simple games of physical skill that were probably reminiscent of the 1950s. One of my favorites always came out when we started roasting marshmallows on the camp fire: Chubby Bunny. In turns, we would add a marshmallow to our mouths, and have to say "chubby bunny" clearly enough for a judge or be eliminated. The process repeats, and contestants are not allowed to swallow or spit up the marshmallows. The person who can say it with the most in their mouth at one time is the winner, and celebrated by spitting them into the fire. Apparently, there have been the occasional death from choking or suffocating, but for me, the only danger was when we'd start arguing about whose unintelligible muffles were better, or the cavities that formed when the marshmallows dissolved into a sugary syrup in your mouth.
Oh, and a tip: don't try to use Peeps. Trust me.
Another fun game to play with your food is turkey bowling. Like the name implies, you slide a turkey (frozen, obviously) down a lane into a set of pins (often as not something improvised, like beer bottles). The origin was a 1988 accident in a California grocery store, which clerk Derrick Johnson turned into a formal event soon after. While it's still most popular in the grocery store aisles, sometimes you see it at hockey games or other ice-based activities as a pre-, mid- or post-game diversion. The first time I ever played it was at MCAS Cherry Point's annual Special Olympics competition at the base commissary a few years ago.
|Special Olympian Edward Harrison bowls his turkey at Cherry Point in 2010.|
|Volkssturm militia in 1944.|
That will be it for today. Happy reading!