Warner Brothers cartoons

I know that as things age, they often lose their appeal. This seems to be especially true for media – the themes and art of one era do not often translate especially well to others. Case in point, sadly, is the collection of Looney Tunes from Warner Brothers. I grew up watching these every Saturday morning and the occasional afternoon during the week, and to me they really are a touchstone. The characters, the humor, and glimpses of American culture in the 1940 and 1950s – all terrific. Today I stumbled across the fact that there are all sorts of complete Looney Tunes on YouTube. I guess I should have figured this out, but I am slow.

There are so many terrific cartoons from this collection, and I am not going to take the time right now to rummage for all of my favorites – What’s Opera, Doc?, The Rabbit of Seville, and many of Chuck Jones’s masterpieces, for example. For the moment, I will simply leave you with one I remember vividly from years ago, and have not seen in ages and ages. These will be watched heavily in my house – I owe it to my kids to ensure their cultural literacy includes these.

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Glowing Cities Under a Nighttime Sky

Glowing Cities Under a Nighttime Sky

Originally uploaded by Ettubrute

I have seen very few good videos on Flickr (lots of fun ones, of course) since they started accepting them, but this one is really very intriguing. Click the image to follow the link and read the photographer’s explanation of what you are watching and how he filmed it.

I’m guessing US Airways Airbus A330.

Video: First Strike

In the midst of auto industry failure, the economic callapse, an energy crisis (that’s already fading from the public mind) and lingering fears of international terrorism, it can be easy to forget what our nightmares were like a generation ago. Below you will find a portion of a 1979 program that aired on San Francisco’s KRON called First Strike, which envisions a crippling nuclear strike on America.

While it’s true that some things never change, it is interesting to look at this and see how defense policy has evolved since then.

Hat tip: Defense Tech.

Breaking news: Amtrak’s Kummant resigns – confirmed

Amtrak Chief Executive Officer Alex Kummant plans to announce his resignation today from the U.S. passenger railroad, people familiar with the matter said.

via Bloomberg.com

Previous coverage of Kummant here.

Cowboy Junkies Sighting

Our TiVo, via TNT, served up a 1996 Law & Order recently, an episode titled “Aftershock” which was the final show of the show’s sixth season, which ended with the death of the lovely Jill Hennessy’s character (Claire Kincaid). In the course of this show, Benjamin Bratt’s character (Rey Curtiss) meets up with a young Jennifer Garner (Jaime) and after several hours of flirting they wind up in her apartment. My hat is off to whomever chose the music Jaime uses to seduce Rey, because it’s the Cowboy Junkies‘ cover of Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane,” off of the 1988 album The Trinity Session, followed by “Hold On To Me” off the then-new Lay It Down. As a devotee of Margo Timmins’s singing for almost twenty years, I would easily rank these are her two most alluring tracks, so Law & Order’s soundtrack person clearly chose with great care.

Sweet Jane was the first song I ever heard by the CJ’s. My friend and neighbor, Marc F. (an accomplished musician and entrepreneur), burst into the room around 2AM one evening and removed whatever was in the CD player so he could put this amazing song in. I doubted his urgency until I heard her first notes, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Simply amazing.

USAF F-15 in-flight breakup animation


Text from Recreating the Eagle’s final moments
By Graham Warwick

Using eyewitness reports, HUD camera video, debris analysis and the pilot’s own testimony, Boeing’s Phantom Works research organisation has recreated the break-up of the US Air National Guard F-15C in the skies of Missouri on 2 November.

“This is as close as science can get us to what actually happened,” says Gen John Corley, commander of US Air Force Air Combat Command, commenting on the computer-generated animation. “We are lucky the pilot is still alive.”

The animation, which is slowed to one-fifth the speed of the actual event, shows the in-flight break-up of the F-15 from five different views. Each segment runs from the initial nose shimmy as the longeron fails to the pilot’s ejection from the tumbling cockpit – a sequence of events that lasted mere seconds in the real event.

When the upper right longeron breaks, the other three longerons cannot carry the load and the forward fuselage structure begins to fail. As the cockpit separates from the rest of the aircraft, it “wins the tug of war” and takes the canopy with it.

The pilot is thrown forward as the separated cockpit slows from 450kt with an “eyeballs out” force of 4-10G. At this point, disoriented by the brutal deceleration, he is still unaware his aircraft has broken in two.

As the cockpit tumbles, windblast rips off the canopy, the transparency fragmenting. The departing canopy rail strikes and shatters the pilot’s upper left arm. “There are paint marks on his flight suit,” says Corley.

Unable to initiate a two-handed ejection, but not knowing why his left arm will not respond, the pilot ejects using his right hand. Although almost inverted when he ejects, the Aces II seat “works as advertised”.

Now “headless”, its landing gear deployed by gravity after the departing cockpit pulled the cables releasing the uplocks, the stricken F-15 enters its final moments. The two sections of the aircraft came down a quarter to half a mile apart.

Your basic 242 mph bird


Beautiful camera-work to catch this falcon in mid-air. Nature creates amazing things.