Thursday, March 31, 2011

Russian Federation Submarine News: CO and "Bilge Engineer" to be Court Martialed


Moscow - Mar 31, 2011 - the Voice of Russia

Submarine accident indictments handed down


A case was brought against submarine commander Dimitry Lavrentiev and bilge engineer Dimitry Grobov. The investigation concluded that their inaction led to the accident. The case will be sent to the Pacific Navy headquarters where the defendants will be court-martialed. [color emphasis mine]

On 8 November 2008, while K-152 Nerpa was undergoing sea trials in the Sea of Japan, an accident caused the deaths of twenty sailors and injury to twenty-one others when a fire suppression system discharged in the sub's bow.

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According to survivors, discharge warning sirens sounded after the gas had already deluged and replaced normal breathing air. It seems the bilge engineer had activated the system without required command authorization. Nerpa's CO, Dmitry Lavrentiev, and Capt 1 rank Sergei Zakharchenko were charged with negligence. Zakharchenko was pensioned off in late 2009, however.
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The gas tragically suffocated civilians and navy crew members. We now know Russian submarine crew should carry special breathing apparatus with them at all times as protection from asphxyation when the fire extinguishing system gas Dibromotetrafluoroethane ( R-114B2 ) is discharged. The crew is trained to use the complicated apparatus. A total of 208 people - 81 military personnel and 127 civilians - were on board at the time of the accident, however.

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As of August 2010, after several delays, the Russian Federation was training a crew from the Indian Navy to sail the ship to India in partial fulfillment of a lease agreement for (NATO designation: Akula II) nuclear-powered attack submarine(s).

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What is a Bilge Engineer? According to an earlier report, the sailor to be court martialed was a "contract seaman" named Grobov.

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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Mystery 'Spill' of the Week: 3-29-2011

This giant hornet's nest-like object in the photographs below, which is of suspected Earthly origin, apparently fell recently onto someone's private property. No nation nor agency has admitted responsibility for the thing, much less identified what it used to be. Someone knows for certain, but no one had spilled such info to the public as of this writing.

QUESTIONS of the WEEK (answers Friday):


1. Where did the object land (country and state)?


2. Who found it?


3. When was it found?


4. What is inside the mass?


5. Of what material does the finder suspect the mass is covered?


6. What organization took these photos?


OPEN QUESTIONS:


7. What was it?


8. Who's was it?


Submarines are always silent and strange

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Not Terrorism, of course, but merely "K.C.A.M."

What has happened to accurate, informative descriptions of fact by our Fourth Estate?

[Edmund] Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters' Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they all.[3]

03/23/11 - Washington Examiner White House: Libya fight is not war, it's 'kinetic military action'
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Sanitization of the news is so routine it no longer seems indefensible. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, for instance, was not a muslim terrorist (civilian who commits or threatens an act of harm against a civilian target in pursuit of political goals). Why is this traitor (one guilty of Treason) still alive?

Choose ONLY the best answer:

1) The U.S. does not wish to execute avowed Muslims (the DC sniper, for instance, was apparently not.)

2) Hasan has accumulated military pension and benefit rights and has not had the opportunity to receive them.

3) Hasan was legally insane, and immune from prosecution, since he did not understand why the murders he carried out were wrong.

4) Rank has its privileges.

5) Hasan has a fatal disease and is expected to expire several months after sentencing. Eliminating a costly show trial will save big bucks.

6) The homicides committed by Maj. Hasan were regrettable, but not treasonous, traitorous, or terrorist in nature; they were actually K.C.A.M. (kinetic civilian acts of manslaughter).
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ANSWER: The correct answer will be determined only when all of the adjudications concerning Nidal Malik Hasan have finally come to pass.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Latest Submarine Movie is a Winner, of shorts! Review by M.E.

23 March 2011 - INM - Submarine Action Film Sinks Competition

Das Tub is a Das Boot spoof created by students at the Media Design School in Auckland, New Zealand. This U-Boat's crew is attacked in methods defying conventional submariner experiences. In the clip (below) the sub apparently resorts to a periscopic colonoscopy!

A tongue-in-cheek student short film that pays homage to submarine action films has been selected as an international finalist at the Aspen Shortsfest in Colorado – considered one of the world’s top 50 film festivals.


Here is a short YouTube of Das Tub, for the curious.
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M.E.'s Review
Acting - superb; convincing, professional *****/5
Plot - thin; well-suited perhaps to the very junior wardroom crowd/nubs **/5
Soundtrack - another surprise; original ****/5
Cinematography - well done ****/5
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Soviet Sabotage and Submarines: "50 U.S. Servicemen Abandoned at Sea"

Some aspects of an early Cold War mystery are so strange that the absence of any FOIA responses probably indicates an ongoing national security wrap. Later that month (on March 29, 1951), Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets. The next month (on April 11th), US President Harry S. Truman fired Douglas MacArthur from command of US forces in Korea.


The commander of the 7th Air Division of Strategic Air Command and some 50 of his staff and top U.S. strategic weapons personnel from the 509th Bomb Group were lost at sea. Although a rescue plane noted all had survived and were in life rafts, the first rescue vessel did not reach the area for 19 hours.
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It was revealed later that Soviet submarines and surface vessels had been active in the area of the downed U.S. plane.
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Lost at sea when ditched in the Atlantic Ocean as the result of a fire in the cargo bay of C-124A Globemaster II transport. What was in the crates? Sabotaged? Mission: Sharing Nuclear Intelleigence with U.K.?
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Gen. Cullen and others on the C-124 amounted to an intelligence windfall for the Soviets, if captured and interrogated. Cullen, who was had been a leading aerial reconnaissance and photography expert, had been responsible for photography at the Crossroads A-bomb testing in the late 1940s.

Early March 23, about 800 miles southwest of Ireland, the C-124 issued a Mayday call, reporting a fire in the cargo hold. According to the Walker Air Force Base Museum website, "the aircraft was intact when it touched down on the ocean. All hands exited the aircraft wearing life preservers and climbed into the inflated 5 man life rafts. The rafts were equipped with cold weather gear, food, water, flares and Gibson Girl hand-crank(ed) emergency
radios."

According to contemporary reports, a B-29 from England saw several flares fired and life rafts. But the B-29 was not carrying any rescue equipment. It radioed the coordinates of the survivors and circled until it reached critical low fuel and was forced to return to base. source

The U.S. would have been very hesitant to admit his capture by the Soviets and perhaps just as reluctant to make an issue of it. Easier to tell 50 families their loved ones had died at sea --- which few could ever deny.

Freedom of Information Act requests were sent to the State Department, CIA, FBI and other agencies, all of whom directed queries to the Air Force. The Air Force provided a 140-page accident report that can be summarized in one sentence: The C-124 ditched in one piece, but nothing, including human remains, was found aside, from some charred plywood and a single briefcase. [ibid; my bold]
Declared Lost at Sea: 50 good men and a general, 60 years ago, today. Fates remain uncertain.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.


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Monday, March 21, 2011

ANSWERS: SPACE Mystery Questions of the Week - 3-18-2011

For background information and photo(s) provided originally (3-18-2011) go here.
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Mystery Questions with the Answers
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Congrats to Cookie, who got all but the hair color correct (he guessed)! BTW, Cookie, on your Amelia Earhart Quiz, I have to guess the specific area you wanted was where those giant crab shells were found.
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1) - In which space movie (Title, and videocassette release date) where "NASA" appeared did an attractive female android wear a leather-like mini skirt? ANS: The Dark Side of the Moon was the direct-to-VHS (1990) movie.
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2) - Who was the actress who played the android, and what was the android called in the movie? ANS: Camilla More (photo) played the android called Lesli.
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3) - What functions did the mystery android fulfill in the spaceship? ANS: The android (housed in a glass-like enclosure and seen from the waste up) was the crew's go-to for computer interface, information security, and earth communication.
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4) - Was the mystery android a blonde, brunette, or redhead? ANS: The movie android was a brunette.
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5) - Was the movie set in a year that has now elapsed, in 2011, or in the future? ANS: The movie was set in the future (2022). note - IMDB, which gives the movie a 5.2 stars, lists this salty quote from Lesli:
Get away from me, you motherf_ _ _ _ r!
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Another Molten Eagle Prediction Has Proven Correct

Molten Eagle's readers got this original prediction...
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Obama must, for the first time in his administration, clarify a NATIONAL vision acceptable to the MAJORITY of Americans. Failure to do so convincingly will be ruin for his party in 2010 (period). - January 24, 2010
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What happened in November is more than historic. Vigilis followed through on his own promise made on January 24th.
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I am willing to offer the benefit of the doubt UNTIL Obama's state of the union address affirms otherwise. Specificity is required now. If Obama tries to hedge or obfuscate his actual intent again, may the Submariners' Hymn send him to the bottom of his erstwhile, fraudulent, political career with all due dispatch!


Accordingly, readers have found an Obama Who? countdown (lower right) on this blog ever since. Unlike the vision for America Obama has never shared with the majority of Americans (why not?) there are vital reasons for keeping some secrets. Consider:

Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

SPACE Mystery Questions of the Week - 3-18-2011

Background - NASA’s humanoid robot unveiled on space station
definition HUMANOID: having form or characteristics looking or acting like a human; android;
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Obviously, the electro-mechanical Robonaut pictured above appears a relatively poor match for a humanoid robot in 2011. Recall TOPIO, the bipedal humanoid robot designed to play table tennis against a human being that was developed by a robotics firm in Vietnam, for instance. Why has NASA chosen such a poor specimen?
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For starters, TOPIO and his ilk do not have to pass NASA's rigorous Electromagnetic (EMI)Interference/Compatibility Tests for operation on an actual space station as Robonaut seems to have passed.
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Mystery Questions of the Week
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1) - In which space movie (Title, and videocassette release date) where "NASA" appeared did an attractive female android wear a leather-like mini skirt?
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2) - Who was the actress that played the android, and what was the android called in the movie?
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3) - What functions did the mystery android fulfill in the spaceship?
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4) - Was the mystery android a blonde, brunette, or redhead?
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5) - Was the movie set in a year that has now elapsed, in 2011, or in the future?
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Comments ON ...... ANSWERS MONDAY, 21 March
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Screen Doors? No, but at one time, U.S. Submarines Did Have Door Mats Next to Their Main Hatches


Vigilis reported to his second nuclear sub assignment during the relatively early days of nuclear submarining. In fact, because Red China had just tested a large nuclear weapon that released radioactive particles (fallout) to upper atmospheric winds, all U.S. nuclear subs had to take an unusual precaution to prevent crews from tracking radiation inside (which would confound normal radiation safety measurements).


Unnecessary hatches are typically closed when use is not anticipated. What precaution was taken then? Contrary to a popular housekeeping myth, we never used screen doors; we simply wiped our shoes on approved doormats for the next month or two.


Now, the source of alleged fallout is Japan. Incidentally, those wondering about USS Tigerfish (SSN-509) can find more here.


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Answers to Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week (from 11 MAR 2011)


Mystery Questions of the Week ANSWERs:
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Kudos to Cookie..... , who got them right, again!
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1) - The mystery photo on the left (above) illustrates some of the aftermath of a famous earthquake whose submerged epicenter occurred about 2 miles offshore. What city was this?
ANS: San Francisco, Calif
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2) - What was the date of the earthquake whose aftermath is shown in the mystery photo?
ANS: April 18, 1906
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3) - What, before your eyes, is extremely rare about the mystery photo? ANS: The photograph is NOT colorized; it and others like it are actual color photographs taken 1n 1906, discovered by the Smithsonian Institution. Color photography was invented in 1861, although most snapshots, movies, magazines and book illustrations until the 1950’s were still in black and white.
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4) - Name the photographer who took the mystery photo? ANS: Frederick Ives
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5) - In what month and year was the mystery photo taken? ANS: Ives took the photos during a trip to San Francisco in October 1906, six months after the great earthquake.
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6) - The USS Wahoo submariner (above link) was just West of what island when his own experience occurred? ANS: Taiwan
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 11 MAR 2011

Background (Relationship to submarines) -
The first underwater volcanic eruption was not documented until 1990. Seismometers on land still cannot detect the many, distant earthquakes that scientists believe precede submarine eruptions by months. It is likely that tomorrow's uncharted sea mounts will have resulted from undersea volcanic eruptions. As recently as 2005, USS San Francisco collided tragically with an undersea mountain about 350 statute miles south of Guam while operating at flank speed and more than 500 feet deep.
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Read a subamariner's rare, personal experience on the USS Wahoo (SS-565) in the early 70's as posted in a comment on TSSP 3/11/2011 11:49 AM by Dean.

The photo on the right (above) shows how a pyroclastic surge during eruption of a nearby submarine volcano has damaged the base of a lighthouse in the Azores Archipelago.
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Mystery Questions of the Week
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1) - The mystery photo on the left (above) illustrates some of the aftermath of a famous earthquake whose submerged epicenter occurred about 2 miles offshore. What city was this?
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2) - What was the date of the earthquake whose aftermath is shown in the mystery photo?
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3) - What, before your eyes, is extremely rare about the mystery photo?
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4) - Name the photographer who took the mystery photo?
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5) - In what month and year was the mystery photo taken?
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6) - The USS Wahoo submariner (above link) was just West of what island when his own experience occurred?
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Comments ON ...... ANSWERS MONDAY, 14 March
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Naval Academy Confirms to AP Were Careless or Gender-Biased

7 July 2010 - (AP) – ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Four midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy are being treated for signs of heat exhaustion after running an obstacle course in near 90-degree weather that is part of an Eastern heat wave. Naval Academy spokeswoman Judy Campbell said she did not know if the individuals were men or women.


10 Mar 2011 - (AP) – ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Naval Academy expels 3 more over synthetic pot. That brings the total number of mids ousted for spice to 11, with seven expelled in January and one kicked out in February. The three former midshipmen were all male sophomores, academy spokeswoman Deborah Goode wrote in an e-mail. She declined to go into any more details, citing privacy concerns.
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Readers are left to wonder when the Naval Academy will ever have a spokesman rather than spokeswomen handle such trivial confirmations of AP news items. Glaringly undisclosed in the synthetic pot story is whether or not all 11 offenders have been males. It seems unlikely:


"In 2009, as in prior years, the rate of current illicit drug use among persons aged 12 or older was higher for males than for females (10.8 vs. 6.6 percent, respectively). Males were more likely than females to be current users of several different drugs, including, for example, marijuana (8.6 vs. 4.8 percent), psycho-therapeutics (3.1 vs. 2.4 percent, for nonmedical use), and cocaine (0.9 vs. 0.4 percent)." source


Every USNA expulsion for cause is both a waste of taxpayer dollars and a failure to accurately identify a truly deserving (career-committed) midshipman. When will old-fashioned admission criteria be restored to end a folly that is costly and detrimental to Navy heritage?
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We should have been maintaining the progress ofd prior generations, not frittering it away!


Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Fastest Thing at Annapolis Swim Meet is a MYSTERY

Something sickened scores of swimmers and attendees at the Maryland State Swimming Championship conducted at the U.S. Naval Academy this past weekend.
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While the Mystery agent is blamed for symptoms of viral gastroenteritis, the news seems to haven taken overlong to filter out to the public yesterday because, no doubt, a biological (terror) agent was first ruled out as a probable cause.
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One thing is for certain, the sudden illness was not a secret naval test to determine immunity from seasickness.
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“According to the county health department that apparent cause of the illness was not the USNA swimming facility,” Judy Brown, a spokeswoman for the Naval Academy, said.

Some 800 participants with parents or spectators attended and nearly 100 became sick. Several athletes got sick on the pool deck during the finals session. Swim officials instructed coaches Saturday night that only swimmers who had been without symptoms for 24 hours should participate. About 20 percent of scheduled participants did not return Sunday.

The pool soon became a sick ward, with enough swimmers vomiting that the meet had to be stopped for 15 minutes so the deck could be swabbed. One parent at the meet told The Annapolis Capital that she saw a swimmer hit the end of his lane, throw up, then flip and continue the race. - NavyTimes SCOOPDECK

"This is unprecedented," said Raymond Brown, the organization' s general chair.
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It is more than unprecedented. It was scary fast. For sociological reasons, we may never hear about the sanitation on a few buses that transported participants to the meet (like the poor sanitation of food handlers on norovirus cruises to hell has rarely been reported to the public.).
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Female Submariners: What Will Be the Next "Right Thing to Do"?

The Associated Press - March 4, 2011

Pa. man drops police lawsuit over hearing aids

A Pennsylvania man with hearing loss has dropped his federal lawsuit against state police over guidelines that excluded otherwise qualified candidates from consideration for employment.

The lawsuit sought a change to the rule forbidding the use of hearing aids in tests needed for certification so that Furman had the opportunity to become a municipal police officer. State police oversee the certification process for officers in Pennsylvania, but certification for sheriff's deputies is covered under a separate program.

Furman began working for the sheriff's office last fall after spending more than four years as a parking officer with the Bellefonte Police Department. He also worked as a county constable, an elected position that involves serving papers and transporting prisoners.

Furman said he decided to drop the lawsuit after receiving a good valuation from Sheriff Denny Nau in January that allowed him to enroll in the sheriff's academy. The dismissal was finalized Tuesday in federal court.

The aspiring policeman said he has been accepted into a statewide sheriff's training academy through his new job with the Centre County sheriff's office, and he will be able to achieve most of the same goals he sought from the lawsuit filed in June.

The son of a police officer, Bill Furman had wanted to follow in his father's footsteps since age 4, when he began using hearing aids. Furman wasn't being rejected by a potential employer but was turned away from becoming eligible for the certification, said his lawyer, who also pointed out that police guidelines allow eyeglasses for meeting vision requirements.
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Currently, Sonar Technicians must have fairly acute hearing, although automation and hearing aids will someday overcome human ineptitude. Is their any good legal reason, however, nuclear personnel and officers must be fully hearing capable? That is what we thought.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Answers to Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week (from 03 MAR 2011)

Background

Nuclear subs like their conventional counterparts utilize fluorescent lighting for general illumination. This has been true since the first U.S. nuclear sub, USS Nautilus (SSN-574), was launched over fifty-seven years ago. Anyone who has worked or lived in an environment of fluorescent tube lighting is probably aware of some major pros and cons.
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Supplemental Note: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF GERMANY banned the use of cool-white fluorescent tubes on the basis that continued was harmful to the state of the nations health, particularly the workforce.
The AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT also recommends exclusive use of full-spectrum lighting in workplaces.
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Mystery Questions of the Week ANSWERs: Kudos to Cookie..... , who got them right!
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1) - Name 2 advantages of flourescent lighting over incandescent: a) Lower energy to lumens produced ratio; and, b) better visible light spectrum.
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2) - Name 3 disadvantages of flourescents tubes in a submarine environment: a) mercury content requires storage of spent tubes for proper disposal; b) storage of spare and spent tubes requires space that is always scarce; c) tubes are fragile (requiring protection from onboard breakage); d) changing out flourescent tubes or starters on a submarine is relatively labor intensive; and e) an audible noise (hum) is sometimes present.
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3) - Identify an available alternative source of general illumination for the submarine environment. Ans: Solid state lighting (SSL); LED fixtures consume 1/2 the power of existing submarine bunk lights, for instance; are quiet, have a longer operating life, and are easier to store and dispose since they contain no hazardous materials, like mercury.
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4) - How many commissioned Navy subs currently use the type of illumination identified in 3), and how long has the innovative illumination been installed in any commissioned submarine? Ans: USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) for 1 month (since late January 2011). In July, USS New Mexico (SSN 779) is also scheduled . These submarines will serve as pilot platforms to enable the Navy to measure savings achieved from SSL.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Friday, March 04, 2011

Submarine Mystery Questions of the Week - 03 MAR 2011

Background
Nuclear subs like their conventional counterparts utilize fluorescent lighting for general illumination. This has been true since the first U.S. nuclear sub, USS Nautilus (SSN-574), was launched over fifty-seven years ago. Anyone who has worked or lived in an environment of fluorescent tube lighting is probably aware of some major pros and cons.
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Mystery Questions of the Week
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1) - Name 2 advantages of flourescent lighting over incandescent.
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2) - Name 3 disadvantages of flourescents tubes in a submarine environment.
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3) - Identify an available alternative source of general illumination for the submarine environment.
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4) - How many commissioned Navy subs currently use the type of illumination identified in 3), and how long has the innovative illumination been installed in any commissioned submarine?
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Comments OFF ...... ANSWERS MONDAY, 7 March
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Sunken Soviet Sub's Covert Mission Controversy

Not only has it taken 2 years for the find to be published, but no mention is provided of a specific Whiskey class variant (I-V) or any hull ID.
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In 2009, a sunken Soviet Whiskey-class submarine was discovered in the Baltic Sea 45 miles South of Gotland, Sweden. The sub had been stripped of its masts and lanterns (by souvenir hunters, the Swedish or Soviet Navies?).

According to Svenska Dagbladet the submarine was discovered by accident by a company conducting measurements on the ocean floor and immediately reported to the Swedish Royal Navy. The Navy, however, showed no interest in the wreckage, even though it was officially previously unknown. Its existence became public knowledge only recently when the CEO of the measurement company that discovered the wreckage told the story at a seminar, according to Aftonbladet.

A dispute exists over whether the wreck deserves further investigation. One theory is that the wreck is the submarine discovered near Utö in 1981, and attacked by the Swedish destroyer Halland.
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The Swedish Navy claims [external] photos by marine survey company Marin Mätteknik(MMT) clearly show that the submarine had sunk while being towed (to be scrapped, it is assumed) and showed no signs of damage from external weaponry fire and therefore couldn’t have sunk while being on a covert mission in Swedish waters. ..Bo Rask, chief of staff at the Naval Tactical Command, argued that the Armed Forces has learned enough about the wreck just from looking at the pictures taken by MMT. “We can see it hasn’t sunk because of any damage from a weapon, which is all we need to know.” Rask told TT that the Swedish Armed Forces will look into the wreckage eventually. “But there is no hurry, we know of many abandoned submarines along the Swedish coastline,” he said.

Sweden's former Supreme Commander Bengt Gustafsson believes the wreck could shed new light on Soviet submarine activity in Swedish waters in the 1980s.
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Ola Oskarsson, CEO of marine survey company MMT, which located the wreck, is also surprised by the Armed Forces' lack of interest in the sunken submarine."I don’t understand what the Armed Forces is thinking, but maybe they know more than they want to admit to.
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Leaders of the Sweden's Parliamentary Defence Committee say everything that could shine a light on the subject should be investigated further.
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If the Swedish destroyer Halland had sunk the mystery submarine in the 1980's, would it's divers have subsequently gutted and stripped the boat without informing the public? Of course. But, there are other theories.
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Submarines are always silent and strange.

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