Thursday, May 31, 2007

Submariners, Sunburn and High Incidence States

Even trees can be sunburnt. So, although sunburn rates are lower for some people (Blacks, Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, American Indians/native Alaskans) they also report sunburns, though they often aren't considered at high risk.

The percentage of sunburned U.S. adults rose from 31.8% in 1999 to 33.7% in 2004, based on three national surveys conducted in 1999, 2003, and 2004.

The CDC lists the percentage of white adults in each state and U.S. territory reporting sunburns at least once in the previous year. The most recent year for which state statistics are available was 2004. Two regions with large submariner populations, Hawaii and Guam, did not report sunburn statistics in the 2004 survey. The worst ten states in order of decreasing sunburn incidence were as follows:

1. U.S. Virgin Islands: 50.1%
2. Utah: 49.9%
3. Minnesota: 48.7%
4. Wisconsin: 48.6%
5. Idaho: 48.5%
6. Wyoming: 48.3%
7. Vermont: 47.1%
8. Nebraska: 46.9%
9. North Dakota: 46.4%
10. South Dakota: 46.1%

Puerto Rico was dead last at #45. Where do you think Connecticut ranked in the survey? (Hint: in the top 25).

Does anyone know when sunburn was first discouraged in Navy Regs?

Sunburns were more common among men than among women. That may be due to time spent outdoors or greater sun protection among women, notes the CDC.

The only sunburn I ever got in the Navy was in location number one above.

One study could be a mixed blessing for submariners. Published in 1990, it included 4.6 million naval personnel. RESULT: melanoma (deadliest skin cancer) occurred most frequently on those sailors who worked inside. Those who worked alternately inside and outside had the lowest risk. The study, entitled "Occupational Sunlight Exposure and Melanoma in the U.S. Navy," was conducted by doctors Frank and Cedric Garland (University of California School of Medicine at San Diego).

A single sunburn can increase likelihood of developing skin cancer, according to the CDC. Here are its sunburn prevention tips:

Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
Cover up while in the sun.
Seek the shade.
Wear wrap-around sunglasses.
Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher.

The Navy even adds a few more:




Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Feinstein's Mass Immigration Formula?

Senator Dianne Feinstein cosponsored the H-1B Visa program, which has been the primary US work visa / permit since 1990.

Senator Feinstein, California's senior senator (D-Calif.) with Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz, is a chief architect of the immigration reform legislation introduced, recently.

No slouch, Feinstein received her B.A. degree (history, 1955, Stanford University). Feinstein realized that, relatively speaking, opportunities may be much higher in the U.S. than in native lands for males accustomed to laboring 6 days a week without overtime pay and other modern benefits.

Is Feinstein responsible for the mathematical formula describing the special field immigration theory of 2005?

I = mc²

I = Immigration via trucks /vans /SUVs (in thousands per year)
m = the percentage of males 18-28 old whose home addresses are rural (in their exporting country)
c = the average roundtrip speed of coyotes, persons smuggling illegal immigrants across the Mexican border (in mph).

Not to be confused with Einstein's mass-energy equivalence E = mc2 of 1905.



Thursday, May 24, 2007

The USS Sweet Potato (SSN-780)?

The USS Idaho (BB-24), a Mississippi-class battleship, missed sailing with the Great White Fleet, saw little action during World War I, was sold to Greece and sunk by German aircraft early in World War II. The USS Idaho (BB-42), a New Mexico-class battleship, saw major action in many Pacific bombardments during World War II.

For more on ships Christened Idaho, see Wikipedia and DANFS (The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships).

Our friend Bubblehead is rooting for a submarine to be named Idaho (SSN-780).

Bubblehead has made it fairly well-known that he would not be adverse to females assigned to submarine duty. If his wishes come true together, the USS Idaho would be the first all-female submarine. In that case, she may be known fleetwide as the Sweet Potato.

Still, like her WWII namesake, the sub Idaho might be a thoroughly formidable vessel of firepower. Then, she might be called the Hot Potato.

If females are not assigned to the sub Idaho, however, she may just be referred to as the Spud. And, as a wag has commented previously to Bubblehead, her CO would likely be called Mr. Potatohead.

Rumor has it that the submarine Idaho will not be Virginia class at all (see photo). Her armament will include the new Nematode Torpedo. Additionally, the Idaho would have no photonic masts, but will sprout various eyes, as needed.



Bush Covert Action Against Iran - This is Rich!

Molten Eagle's 2005 prediction now appears premature, as is becoming usual. Covert action was predicted in August 2005 to occur within 18 months (by Feb '07). But like the prediction on the terrorist Zarqawi's death, it may be a couple of months early.

The CIA has just received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community told the Blotter on Bush Authorizes New Covert Action Against Iran.

So, CBS reports: ABC News Comes Under Fire For Iran Report

Under the law, the CIA needs an official presidential finding to carry out such covert actions. President Bush has now signed a "nonlethal presidential finding" that puts into motion a CIA plan that pressures the Tehran government.

"Vice President Cheney helped to lead the side favoring a military strike," said former CIA official Riedel, "but I think they have come to the conclusion that a military strike has more downsides than upsides."

Which was what Molten Eagle has been suggesting since 2005, and reiterated only this past February:

The United States is not going to attack Iran overtly. It does not need to attack Iran to prevent nuclear weapons competence. Stressing Iran out militarily, diplomatically, politically, and economically is all the U.S. needs pursue. Iran's military, scientists and leadership will incur everyday accidents of their own making, reflecting their inexperience, incompetence and inability to endure stress and internal dissidents who may receive covert help. The effects of the cumulative stress seem copiously evident in Iran's leaders even now.

ABC's story was no doubt released at government urging to further pressure Ahmadinejad and his handlers. This time, however, President Bush is probably not just fooling around. Unless Iran starts making public concessions to the U.N. on its banned nuclear fuel production, and private concessions to the U.S. in its flagrant support of Iraq insurgents, there will probably be a triggering event for the fall of Tehran's government. Hugo Chavez, will certainly be giving these matters his close attention, for he fears being next.

Now, since Molten Eagle's predictions are habitually too early by several months, I am adjusting the timing. I now predict the world will not see a recognizable, triggering event until after July 1st and not later than Halloween of this year. Goodbye, Mr. Ahmadinejad! Pleasant dreams, Hugo!



Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Strange, Deadly Plunges Reported Back-to-Back

Slighlty strange? Maybe. Silent? No.

May 22nd (Tuesday) .........Zip Code: 92028 CA; Latitude 32°, time: about 10 a.m.

Golfer Dies After Cart Plunges Off Cliff (cause unknown)

and about 20 hours later (photo)...

May 23rd (Wednesday) .....Zip Code: 29201 SC; Latitude 33°, time: about 10:15 a.m.

1 dead after car plunges off S.C. parking deck (cause unknown)

Stranger things happen, but crop circles are among neither the strange nor the unexplained.

As of this writing, Linda Moulton Howe has not considered the dual vehicular tragedies strange enough to post. The offbeat journalist still appears fascinated with crop circles, however.

Compared to submarine operations which are always silent and strange, the stuff above may be silent or strange, but not both. According to the news accounts, silence does not apply.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

SCADA: "Data Storm "Shuts Down Browns Ferry (AL) Nuclear Plant

As one commenter so aptly stated recently, (paraphrased) unlike the majority of humanity, submariners must run toward danger as quickly as possible. While it is in human nature to scatter in the face of danger, submariners understand better than most that everything (mission success, preservation of the platform and of course, crew lives), depends upon quite the reverse. (see actual quote in note below)

Have terrorists or hackers uncovered a major flaw in our nations nuclear power plants? If verifed publicly, Browns Ferry would become the first solid case of direct external manipulation of a critical infrastructure control system. In other words, either hackers or terrorists caused a critical system to be overloaded, shutting down the reactor. This soundalike, called SCADA, is in the realm of digital data supervision (computers and programmed logic controllers).

The term refers to a large-scale, distributed instrument control system. One potential flaw is the mistaken belief that SCADA networks are disconnected from the Internet and are therefore secure.

Hardware for SCADA systems is ruggedized to withstand temperature, vibration, and voltage excursions, and reliability is further enhanced by redundant hardware and communications channels. The calculated mean time before system failure of such high reliability systems is commonly measured in centuries, not years. story linked here.

The incident happened in August of 2006 at Unit 3. Has our mainstream, U.S. press been AWOL? Here is more (Published Monday 21st May 2007 09:15 GMT) from our neighbors in the U.K.

It seems that The US House of Representative's Committee on Homeland Security called this week for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to further investigate the cause of excessive network traffic that shut down an Alabama nuclear plant. link

If you are like me, you probably believe Alabama is part of the U.S., not the U.K. Someone is in deep do-do. Who do you think the event will be blamed upon (hint: Charlie is usually correct) with the proviso that the public blame may not reflect the true cause?

1. A teenage hacker
2. Al Qaeda cell
3. A contractor <<<<< correct (most likely default of Homeland Security bureaucrats)
4. Design Engineers
5. Mechanical fluke

At 27 April, 2007 16:30, SonarMan said...
I've heard these rumors myself. On submarines, when the shit hits the fan, there's only one way to run... Right into it. Nobody with a living brain cell can ever, ever call a submarine sailor a coward just because he's not dodging bullets somewhere. I call anyone out who thinks so.



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Former Submariner, President Carter Stokes Controversy

Jimmy Carter challenges Congress to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which he termed the only law in America today that regulates a group of citizens then prohibits them from identifying themselves and speaking up on their own behalf. link to source

Chosen by Admiral Hyman Rickover for the nuclear submarine program, Carter was then assigned to graduate studies at Union College in Schenectady, N.Y. in 1953.

Curiously, USNA graduate Carter shared attendance at Union College with an erstwhile predeccessor, Philip Spencer, whose subsequent error of judgement during a midshipmen training cruise of 1842 actually accelerated the founding of the USNA.

Spencer (son of the U.S. War Secretary) and two confederates were found guilty of determined attempt to commit a mutiny. The three were hanged from the yardarm of USS Somers. The incident cast sharp doubt on the wisdom of sending midshipmen directly aboard ship to learn by doing. The Somers mutiny shocked the country.

Through the actions of Secretary of the Navy Bancroft, the Naval School was established in 1845 without Congressional funding, at Fort Severn, Annapolis, Maryland. By 1850, the Naval School became the United States Naval Academy.

All of this raises old questions anew:

Are Modern Submariners Really Pampered Wimps? link to sources

Does former President Carter support assignment of females to U.S. Submarine Crews? link but nothing indicative of President Carter's personal opinion on this matter.

Can Submarine Commander Fix the Military Academy with the Feminine Gender? link to sources

Did Adm. Rickover first approve Lt. Carter for the nuke program and then disapprove him as an Anonymous source has suggested? link to this anonymous comment:
When he ran for office the first time he claimed to be a "nuclear sub sailor'. Although he never actually served on a nuke. My guess is Rickover approved him and then disapproved him. The reason he went back to the farm was pretty weak.
Vigilis, for one, does not believe Rickover expelled Carter from the nuclear power program.
- Carter actually served on the conventional submarine Pomfret and was on the precommissioning detail of the USS K-1. Upon selection by Rickover, he was studying to become the engineering officer for the nuclear submarine USS Seawolf (SSN-575), whose keel would not be laid down until September 1953.
- Upon his father's death (July 1953) Lt. Carter immediately resigned his Navy commission and was discharged on October 9th of that year. He never commanded a nuclear submarine, as the first (Nautilus) was not launched until 1955. Carter returned to Plains, GA to manage his family's expanding peanut farming business. This departure was not unprecedented and it was neither dishonorable nor irrational.
- We must be indebted to the service of every president as Commander-in-Chief, alone. President Carter also served our country as a Naval Officer and one of the world's pre-eminent human rights champions. During his presidency, Carter oversaw the Panama Canal treaties, the Camp David Accords, the treaty of peace between Egypt and Israel, the SALT II treaty with the Soviet Union, and the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002 for "decades of untiring efforts to find peaceful solutions to international conflict." OPINION: While it is common and easy to find fault with another's politics, Carter has been an honorable, diligent man, and we should view his brief naval career and namesake SSN-21 as serendipitous for the submarine service. Disclosure: Vigilis may or may not have attended Union College, himself.



Sunday, May 13, 2007

Selected Submarines: "Fugit Inreparabile Tempus"

An ancient Roman we now know as Virgil (70 BC – 19 BC), is credited in one of his writings besides the Aeneid with the original thought Fugit inreparabile tempus - modern abbreviation: time flies.

Virgil was a talented author also renowned in his day as something of a sorcerer. Today, in Parco Virgiliano (a park in Naples, Italy) there is still a monument tribute to Virgil, and a to his final resting place. An ancient access tunnel to the site was maintained and kept in use over all of the centuries until automobiles required new tunnels. Virgil certainly understood time.

To appreciate the irony of Virgil's observation (Fugit inreparabile tempus), apply it to one of the United State's most critical military assets, our nuclear submarine fleet.

They are involved in nearly all aspects of national security. Undetected, they gather intelligence, insert special forces, and are among the first to fire in times of conflict. ... During the Cold War, attack submarines were tasked with tracking Soviet ballistic missile submarines, destroying them if necessary, and collecting intelligence, said Jack Spencer in Congress Should Restore Funding to Refuel Attack Submarines back in March, 2005.

Now, many subs have been ridden hard, and some discarded. Of those remaining, here are some milestones we too conveniently may forget:

USS Maryland SSBN-738 15th Commissioning Anniversary June 13, 2007.

USS Seawolf SSN-21 - 10th Commissioning Anniversary July 19, 2007.

USS Louisiana SSBN-743 10th Commissioning Anniversary September 6, 2007.

USS Boise SSN-764 - 15th Commissioning Anniversary November 7 , 2007.

Rather than irrepairable, the latin word inreparabile denotes irretrievable (as in lost opportunities).

Submarine time always flies silently and strangely.



Friday, May 11, 2007

What Could it be? The Rise Of U.S. Islam. Really?

Well, Molten Eagle must confess. Time and resources are insufficient to unravel every pressing mystery, although when obvious inconsistencies slap us in our faces, we can surely bet that our representative government, comprised largely of courageous law school graduates (just kidding, they are actually competent politicians), have authorized high stakes activities in neighborhoods near you.

Be confidant and rest complacently that none of the following are actually what they are reported to be:

Radical Muslim paramilitary compound flourishes in upper New York state
Nearly every weekend, neighbors hear sounds of gunfire. Some, including a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, have heard the bang of small explosives.

Islamberg is a branch of Muslims of the Americas Inc., a tax-exempt organization formed in 1980 by Pakistani cleric Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani, who refers to himself as "the sixth Sultan Ul Faqr," Gilani, has been directly linked by court documents to Jamaat ul-Fuqra or "community of the impoverished," an organization that seeks to "purify" Islam through violence.

Over the years, numerous members of Jamaat ul-Fuqra have been convicted in US courts of such crimes as conspiracy to commit murder, firebombing, gun smuggling, and workers' compensation fraud. Others remain leading suspects in criminal cases throughout the country, including ten unsolved assassinations and seventeen fire-bombings between 1979 and 1990.

Members live in hamaats or compounds, such as Islamberg, where they agree to abide by the laws of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, which are considered to be above local, state and federal authority. Additional hamaats have been established in Hyattsville, Maryland; Red House, Virginia; Falls Church, Virginia; Macon, Georgia; York, South Carolina; Dover, Tennessee; Buena Vista, Colorado; Talihina, Oklahoma; Tulane Country, California; Commerce, California; and Onalaska, Washington. Others are being built, including an expansive facility in Sherman, Pennsylvania. Source: Canada Free Press Friday, May 11, 2007 By Paul L. Williams Ph.D., (author of THE DAY OF ISLAM) with Douglas Hagmann, Bill Krayer and Michael Travis

May 10, 2007 - DEBBIE ALMONTASER, slated to be the principal of the new school:

Dhabah Almontaser & Lena Alhusseini Arab American Family Support Center joins with Khalil Gibran school. DEBBIE ALMONTASER describes herself as becoming an "activist" after 9/11

"Her next goal: to have schools recognize Muslim holidays, as they already do Christian and Jewish ones" [NPR Morning Edition, July 13, 2006, transcript below]
Has called herself a "convert" to Islam, although she was born Muslim ["Finding my religion," Colorlines Magazine, March 22, 2005]

Regarding the spring 2006 trial of the Herald Square bomb plotter, the NY Times reported:

On May 12, in the middle of the trial of Mr. Siraj, Mr. Kelly met with 150 Muslims at a youth center in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. He showed them a 25-minute video that the Police Department created to train new officers to be sensitive toward Arabs and Muslims. He said he was there to hear their "concerns about issues of public safety," according to a transcript of his speech. Only after several questions did anyone mention the trial. Debbie Almontaser, a board member of a Muslim women's organization, told Mr. Kelly that she was saddened that the police had resorted to "F.B.I. tactics," and that she thought this was polarizing the Muslim community. Applause swept the room. [Andrea Elliott, "Undercover Work Deepens Police-Muslim Tensions," NY Times, May 27, 2006] source Militant Islam Monitor

Does the grand war on global terrorism rely upon application of Islamic peer pressure against the philosophy of violent extremism? That is simply a no-brainer.



Thursday, May 10, 2007

China's Greatest Military Threat is no longer its Submarines

John J. Tkacik's commentary in The Washington Times today recalls that "Fifteen years ago, the U.S. intelligence community judged that the People's Liberation Army of China was more than 20 years behind the West." Tkacik is a senior fellow in Asian studies at the Heritage Foundation and also served as chief of China analysis in the State Department from 1992-1994.

China's recent submarine developments play a large role in Tkacik's thinking. You should read his full facts and explanations in the link above.

Some of Tkacik's conclusions are faulty, however. He sees a Chinese military capability that does not really exist and yet fails to see the significance of another, more ominous one that has been proven:

"The United States may no longer be strong enough to defend freedom beyond our shores....Apparently, the U.S. Navy can't track China's newest submarines."

This obviously erroneus assumption has been easy to rebuff by those in the know, both here (see comment time stamped 28 November, 2006 11:20) and here (29Nov06).

A much more ominous military threat from China, however, concerns another capability Tkacik mentions, but fails to fully appreciate:

China's recent anti-satellite test. The kinetic kill vehicle created the largest recorded volume of space debris in history (over 1335 pieces of trackable, golf ball size and larger objects). [11]

Why so ominous:
Space debris is a growing concern since collisions at orbital velocities can be highly damaging to functioning satellites, produce more space debris in a process, called Kessler Syndrome, and requires tremendous effort and expense to track on a real time basis. Both civilian and military satellites, even armored or hardened ones, are vulnerable to malfunctions due to kinetic effects, which are relatively cheap.

If the Chinese can render trillions of dollars worth of communications, positioning, targeting and aquisition satellites useless for pennies on the dollar, countries relying on such military technology would be reduced to (but ill-prepared for) conducting military defense and offense as it had been decades earlier. That would require resources no longer readily available. Obviously, higher numbers of combat troops, ships, etc. had been replaced by technological advances.

Suddenly, a China with its million-man army and ships too numerous to have individual names would be very advantaged, perhaps the pre-eminent military power. Give such a military a Western port in Mexico or South America, and the writing would be on the wall.

Now, you are starting to see what has really been behind the U.S. policy on Mexican immigration. In November 15, 2005, Molten Eagle warned, Were China to garner a foothold in Mexico, Canada, or South America, the current Taiwan standoff could become weakened in China's favor. And, Molten Eagle is no longer the only submariner seeing positive ramifications of Mexican immigration. Read what this one is now saying about Mexican immigration, too.



Bubblehead's Last Detailer

Bubblehead's fascination with the detailing procress for submariner reassignments are well described in some of his blogs. Here, for instance, be certain to read the comment time stamped 4/30/2007 1:16 PM.

An alternative explanation has also been humorously depicted here. Could one of the characters in the film have been based on the Bubblehead in his enlisted youth? Wu Le thinks so, but I really don't know.



Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The SSN-589 mystery: always Silent and Strange

There are conflicting (strange) explanations for what may have happened to the US submarine sunk mysteriously while we were attending submarine school (submariners are not superstitious). Had an intentional act of war by the Soviets sent 99 of our silent service contempories, the Scorpion's crew on May 22, 1968, to eternal patrol?

A new book provides a plausible explanation of tragic events and strange coverup efforts:
Scorpion Down: Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story of the USS Scorpion

Reviews here. The Navy gave classified briefing on the lost sub about a year later. Although hull photos and a somewhat more detailed narrative were provided, I recall no stated resolution of cause, and lots of hush at the time. Some photos are now on the web.

Deceptions are as legitimately purposeful and routine in the silent service as for FBI undercover agents investigating the mob. Here is an off topic book related to the latter.

Old Gary at Contrary points out more journalistic error in an article about the new submarine book's local author:
"The USS Scorpion nuclear submarine sank in the Mediterranean Sea in May 1968 with the loss of all 99 men on board."The Scorpion actually was lost in the Atlantic Ocean, near the Azores.



Friday, May 04, 2007

Bill Would Authorize Virginia Sub Reactor Spare

May 4, 2007 - The House Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee (which controls Navy and Marine Corps procurement and R&D programs) completed its markup of H.R. 1585, The National Defense Authorization Act for FY08.

The subcommittee's version of the bill would increase spending by $588 million for Virginia Class reactor plant heavy components and main propulsion components. The additional ship-set equipment provides limited flexibility to boost sub construction for Virginias to two per year before the Navy's current goal of 2012.

The current bill contains authorization for the Secretary of the Navy to enter into a multiyear build contract for Virginia class submarines beginning with fiscal year 2009.

----------------------- D I S C U S I O N -------------------------

The USS Virginia (SSN-774) was commissioned on 23 October 2004 and on 23 November 2005, Virginia completed her first deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. At the rate this lead boat's power plant will have been driven (speeds and power factors) is it possible an early refueling is forecasted for her own reactor?

In addition to providing flexibility to boost sub construction, the current bill would also absorb a large chunk of early refueling cost. If the measure ultimately passes both houses, it provides a convenient avenue for Navy face-saving down the road.

Most senior admirals do not want to ramp up submarine production ahead of schedule. As Molten Eagle has often speculated, there is probably an excellent reason for delaying: the Virginia class design will probably not be the one produced most heavily after 2012. Why monopolize outyear production schedules with multiple copies of a costly, nuclear design that certainly performs its missions superbly, but that would not be as suitable for other missions that will be demanded?



Thursday, May 03, 2007

Submarine Media Flubs: When Will Journalists Qualify?

With no concession for rank or rate all permanently assigned submariners must qualify on their boats. The reasons are obvious. Submarines are particularly hazardous in non-intuitive ways. Crews are not supernumerary. In fact, random individuals must be prepared to substitute for casualty victims. Mission and, obviously, survival, depend upon it. The stakes have always been extreme.

Journalists, however, with the occasional exception of premium financial types rarely have even minimal qualifications for some of the news they report. There is an underlying assumption that critical errors will be caught and corrected by others and reported in timely fashion to original recipients. Sometimes the stakes can be very serious, as in health, public safety, governmental, and political matters. Why political? Think of the current war. How high are the stakes and dire the potential consequences if we elect the wrong senator (six year term), wrong congressman (2 year term), or wrong president (up to 8 years in 2 terms)?

Vigilis has long maintained that journalists possess qualifications in the matters they report, or disclaim their qualification in their report. My proposal is long overdue, and in my opinion, should be a no-brainer.

Twice since May 1st, submariners have noted journalistic errors in submarine stories referring to atmosphere (see color coded references below). The stakes are not considered high, because the audience is either expert or aloof. Do you agree?

Hat tip Old Gary: "It’s always funny to see how people mis-understand how the old diesel submarines operated. .... I suppose it's only funny to those of us who have served on submarines."
The journalist said...
These submarines were powered by diesel fuel on the surface, but had to rely on battery power when they submerged because of the fumes. source

Hat tip Amos the Hairy: "An easy mistake for civilians to make, but these are reporters who already have important opinions about CO2, not the least of which are their equally suspect opinions on climate change."

The journalist said...
The other important step when it comes to oxygen is to make sure potentially toxic carbon monoxide is removed from the submarine atmosphere. That’s accomplished by what is known as a “CO2 scrubber”. It contains a chemical compound which filters the carbon dioxide from the air and diffuses into waste which is pumped overboard. source

----------------------------------N O T E S ------------------------------------
Of course carbon monoxide is both flammable and poisonous to humans. Only 1% of the CO inhaled by sub crews is expelled as CO2 (99% is still CO).

USS Seawolf (SSN 575) on 6 Oct. 1958, completed a record-breaking 60-day submerged run, traveling a distance of more than 13,000 miles submerged with completely sealed atmosphere.
Air samples taken aboard the SEAWOLF during period 3-26 November, 1958 detected the following gross samples on which no preliminary separation of constituents was made: carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, water vapor, Freon-12, methane, methyl alcohol, acetylene and nitrous oxide. Each contaminant was measured quantitatively and found to be well below permissible limits.

The science was assistive to the nation's nascent space program as well as future submarine missions.



What is an Al Gore Rhythm? More Dance than Computation

Does the term Al Gore Rhythm sound familiar, but defy definition?
In 825 AD, Persian mathematician Al-Khwārizmī, devised a method of calculation with Hindu numerals. It was later crudely translated as "Algoritmi on the numbers of the Indians", where "Algoritmi" was the translator's rendition of the author's name. Careless readers, however, mistook Algoritmi to mean "calculation method" (more linked here). Today, algorithm refers to the well-defined set of instructions for accomplishing an otherwise difficult computation.
What is an Al Gore Rhythm, then?
Take climate change as an example (please see chart above). The dashed yellow-black-white line at the extreme left of the chart represents the entire period of scientific climate measurements (mostly just temperature readings) by mankind. If the dashed line were drawn to scale it would be invisibly thin, because the measurements have only been taken since about 1895, and then were not widespread until the last 25 years, or so.
The entire chart which is based upon the best scientific extrapolations (a type of estimatation) indicates periodic swings in climate starting before the introduction of mankind in meaningful numbers are significantly polluting industrial activities, and continuing through the present.
The chart shown only goes back about 700,000 years. Similar climate cycles are also evident in the geological record of the Earth for millions of years. The multi-variate factors involved in planetary climate are not well-understood by man. In fact, no one will even claim to recite most of them. Yet, some things are well-known and cannot be refuted by a single, credible scientist anywhere on Earth.
Even in New Zealand, scientists know this:
“The energy that reaches earth from sunlight in one hour is more than that used by all human activities in one year”. - Prof. Ashton Partridge, Massey University
Speaking of credible scientists, Al Gore is not one. An Al Gore Rhythm is a series of frenzied steps that seek to replace deliberative science with panic.
In the future, an Al Gore Rhythm will likely refer to any over-simplification of a complex process for craven or partisan political purposes.



High-Stakes Submariner Card Game

Tonk was a fast card game that could be played during brief periods of time typical of a submariners day.

On some Cold War submarines it was a popular pastime for the most flamboyant members of the enlisted crew. It seemed to captivate them at every available break of 20 minutes or more. Always played for high stakes, games usually involved 3-5 to players.

There was only one Tonk game and the players were regulars. You had to be invited to play, and that could be due to your inexperience and potential for contributing to the stakes.

Myself, I was a cribbage player or action movie fan after qualification. Bubblehead ran an unscientific poll recently over at Let The Debate Begin between uckers and cribbage. Cribbage won, of course. Tonk, on the otherhand was more popular than uckers and never mentioned.

Anyone else encounter Tonk on one of their boats?

Turns out that Tonk (or Tank) is a town in North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan and a a district in Rajasthan, western India. As the lyrics say, things that come around go around.



Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Blaming the Public: House Speaker Pelosi's Personal Accountability is AWOL

Nancy Pelosi's response to Bush veto:

"It was a bill that honored and respected the wishes of the American people to have benchmarks, to have guidelines, to have standards for what is happening in Iraq, again, out of respect for the wishes of the American people." [my emphasis]

Strange, I can distinctly remember the Speaker's diatribes exhorting the wisdom of unilateral U.S. withdrawal in the face of the most ferrocious enemy the world has ever faced. Now she seeks political cover in case the feminine (too many lawyers are painty-waists, in Molten Eagle's opinion) tactic backfires strategically at a time when her Hamas counterpart, Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, declared during a Friday sermon at a Sudan mosque that America and Israel will be annihilated and called upon Allah to kill Jews and Americans "to the very Last One".

Dumb, Nancy, transparently dumb and cowardly.

As Gen. Petraeus stated, Iraq is the focus of the world war against Islamic terrorism. In Washington last week, General Petraeus explained it this way: Iraq is, in fact, the central front of all Al Qaida's global campaign. source - Washington Post.

The more successful Al Qaeda believes its progress, the more the world will relegate its members into the margins of civiliztion. Has Al Qaeda earned respect? Not from Speaker Pelosi or Sens. Reid, Biden and Murtha.

In the end, the only treatment available is to quickly quarantine or unceremoniously dispatch the poor AQ animals while disrupting the generational propagandizing of their youth against freedom. The battle, as Bush said from the start must be a very long (generational) one. Shortcuts are for suckers. History has proven it over and over.

We must thank Al Qaeda for rapidly spreading its global message of intolerance and neolithic civilization. We are not impressed by the depth of AQ's planning. To unwittingly inoculate the world against itself must entail the entire thought process of a lowly ebola virus.



Diving for Solar Energy Technology

One of the most promising technologies for environmentally friendly harvesting of energy available to mankind is finally gaining momentum. Consider that, the amount of energy reaching earth from the sun in one hour exceeds every bit used in all human activities for a full year.

Yesterday's Molten Eagle posting Cheaper Solar Power is Finally Coming discussed develpoments in nanotechnology. Now from a federally protected submarine area of California's coast off Monterey Bay, another, potentially helpful solar discovery.

There are thousands of types known, and they can be found anywhere from the intertidal (littoral) zone to depths up to 29,000 feet (8,500 m) or further. In one way or another, they are anchored to the benthic (lowest) levels of their natural environments.

Not military submarines, but sponges. Some sponges actually harvest silicon from seawater to build their spiky body coverings. The process has inspired the development of a cheaper, low-energy method to manufacture solar cells.

Conventional solar cell manufacturing utilizes high-temperature vapor deposition of chemicals to create a crystalline semiconductor layer capable of producing electric current when struck by light. The high temperatures and very low pressures required makes this method energy- intensive.

But now, Daniel Morse, a molecular biochemist, and colleagues John Gomm and Birgit Schwenzer at the University of California, Santa Barbara, mimic sea sponges like the orange puffball sponge (photo) to control the structure of the zinc oxide film that was slowly deposited on a glass substrate in a reaction chamber. Schwenzer says the technique still needs further development. "There are still problems but the process seems to be working at really low temperatures and producing devices at really low cost." [emphasis added]
Imagine improved night search and rescues. Flexible solar-cell fabric woven right into clothing illuminates victims.