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The History Kid

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  1. Let's not get too off topic here. The movements of some of these groups, no matter how marginalized, is not justified. No terror action is ever justified in my book. A terrorist is someone who has resorted to cowardice in the face of an obstacle. Simple. At any rate. The only real Joker to me was the one in the last set of Batman movies before the last: Ledger. I thought his performance was brilliant, and I have a hard time seeing anyone else in the role. That being said - if the Penguin ever shows up again, it damn well better be Danny DeVito! Nyuck nyuck nyuck.
  2. I won't speak much on it - for starters it's not my kind of movie, so I won't be seeing it anyway. However, it is interesting to see all of the threat chatter that seems to be going on. I've seen now several reports that there are concerns over the potential for mass shootings by domestic terror groups at the opening - kind of like the Batman movie. At any rate, count me out on this one. Superhero/villain movies weren't my thing anyway I spose.
  3. I can support the filmmakers by buying the BluRay. More of that value goes to them anyway.
  4. I don't go to theaters as a general rule as it is. Overpriced as all hell. I opt for watching at home. The argument that going to an anime movie creates community might be valid, but frankly, you could get an even better community experience out of a properly run convention.
  5. It was March. I was walking from my car into my building at work - Monday of Mondays. I had in my hand a grocery bag full of Bubl'r drinks and yogurt. My lunch for the upcoming days, since I was trying not to run all over the place for lunch at this time. It was about 40 some degrees that morning, but in the shade it was still well below freezing. My shoes were flat bottomed, no tread. I was walking up the sidewalk and came across a wet spot (3 foot by 2 foot) - except the wet spot was still ice. I slipped, fell, and slit my hand and wrist wide open - bled everywhere. Spilled all my yogurt. Sad face I looked around frantically to make sure there was no one around to see me. Thankfully not. I rushed inside to clean my hand up, and then just went on about my day. But I was still very sad that I lost all my yogurt.
  6. I frequent as many shows as I can go to - and by that I mean music and comedy shows. I think the most recent one I went to was when Bruce Hornsby was in Cedar Rapids. Guy can't sing for jack diddly, but boy can he still play piano. The man has magic fingers, I swear. Music shows are more my taste than anything, simply because I enjoy music an awful lot. I'm still toying around whether to go see Jerry Seinfeld when he's here at the end of next month. There's also a Who's Line is it Anyway travelling show that's supposed to be here that I might go see.
  7. We narrowly missed flying around in a tornado. Other than that, we're back to flooding - just like we were in May when I joined...hmmmmmmm...
  8. We'll have to agree to disagree there. I still want BluRay copies of the anime I watch. Netflix only has a limited selection, and no place else does a full-banded HD stream yet. When I watch something, I want to watch it in its originally recorded format. I like dubs, because I don't care to read while I watch, but I want that dub in the original format it got recorded in. That's not 720/1080p with half-cocked audio that stutters every time I have a lightning strike near my house. Besides, if I really like a show, I'm going to buy it. I stand by it. I've seen some of these collections people have - people are ready to shell out money for this stuff, and they aren't exactly a niche minority. I doubt physical media will ever go away due to these people.
  9. Introduction & Disclaimer This coming August (2020) will mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. These two weapons of incredible and mass destruction are credited with forcing the closure of hostilities in the Pacific Theater, and thus ending World War II. It is without a doubt one of the most horrifying tales of human nature that exists to many. However, history tells us of many more gruesome tales during World War I, II, and the years that followed. The atomic bombings have remained a cornerstone of ethical debates in many academic circles since they were used in 1945. One would assume that such a massive loss of life could never be justified. But could it? Was it? Was the decision to use such a weapon made as lightly as so many people seem to think it was? It certainly wasn't, and many historians agree that rather than being an ethical hairball, the decision to use the atomic bomb was actually one that saved more lives than it took. Certainly, Robert Oppenheimer may not have agreed when he described himself as someone akin to Vishnu, becoming death "the destroyer of worlds." While ethical debates on the lasting effects of the bomb are certainly valid, casualty and injury relations to the bomb have never surpassed the estimated numbers for invasion. We could certainly sit here all day and chat on this, but the facts remain that the casualty rates in the Pacific Theater were capped by the use of the weapon, not inflated. The Targets Prior to the dropping of the bombs, the Army had specified a list of targets to deploy the weapon. This was reinforced when B-29 Stratofortresses were forward deployed to Tinian Island in the Pacific. Tinian operated as the main forward deployment base for all B-29 operations in the Pacific, and subsequently accounted for more than sixty percent of all Allied Bombing Operations from 1944 onward. The targets selected were to be strictly military based, according to President Truman. However, in the case of Japan, one may argue that any citizen was considered a military target. This was particularly true in states where the Bushido Code was practiced (virtually all of the home island villages and cities). As was customary, the Americans dropped leaflets encouraging citizens to flee the city ahead of the bombing run. The Weapon The aptly named "Fat Man" and "Little Boy" were very large atomic bombs that had very large chases. These bombs weighed a hefty 10,000 pounds. Each bomb was designed to yield around 21 kilotons of TNT equivalent. By comparison, the largest nuclear device to ever be used, the Tsar Bomba yielded 50 megatons of TNT equivalent - over 2,000 times more powerful than the Japanese atomic bombings. The Fat Man bombs were the product of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. About 120 total bombs were made. In August of 1945, however, only two bombs were available. In a letter between forward deployed elements and the War Department, however, up to five bombs would be available by the middle of September. Some sources indicated a third bomb would have been ready to deploy as early as 20 August. Truman had hinted to Stalin earlier at the Potsdam Conference in 1945, that the U.S. was in possession of a "terrifying new weapon." He was to ask Stalin for Soviet aid to bring hostilities to a close in the Pacific Theater. However, by this time, Stalin was well aware of the development occurring at Los Alamos - he just wasn't sure how to bring all of the pieces together - and wouldn't until 1949. The Aircraft The aircraft charged with delivering the weapons were two heavily modified B-29 Stratofortress aircraft. The Enola Gay was the most notorious of the two, tail number 44-86292. She and her crew would deliver the payload over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. The second, and lesser known B-29 was the Bockscar, tail number 44-27297. Bockscar was the aircraft that would deliver the payload to Nagasaki on 9 August. Both aircraft had almost all of their instruments stripped, and the bomb bay doors were left open to straddle the weapon in place. Several other B-29's were operating in the vicinity of the two targets on the day of the attack. These other aircraft provided the remote instrumentation, weather check, and spot checking for the loaded B-29's. Both of these B-29's are on display in museums today. The Bombings Prior to the bombings, parts of the weapon were shipped to Tinian Island where they were assembled. This was to reduce the risk of espionage and sabotage from spies operating in the region. From there, the aircraft were loaded with the weapon and set out to strike their targets. Hiroshima was selected as a target due to its military and industrial importance to the Japanese. Multiple Imperial Army divisional headquarters were situated at Hiroshima, as well as many naval facilities - including the submarine production facility. Other industry included parts for guns, field artillery, aircraft, and personal items for the Imperial Japanese Forces. As such, Hiroshima was a high value target. On 6 August 1945, B-29's set out for Hiroshima with orders to deliver their payload on clear weather. If weather was not clear, they were to strike Kokura or Nagasaki instead. At about 0700 hours, the B-29 Straight Flush reported to Enola Gay that cloud cover was partial, this triggered an air raid warning for Hiroshima, but that warning was lifted after Straight Flush cleared the area at 0709. The bombing run started at 0809, and at 0815 - Little Boy was released from the Enola Gay. The bomb fell for 44 seconds descending from 31,000 to just below 2,000 before detonating. Crosswind caused the bomb to drift 800 feet off target from a bridgehead and caused the weapon to detonate over a surgical center instead. Nagasaki had been selected due to it's status as a large seaport city. The ports allowed for numerous resupply operations throughout the Pacific Theater for both the Imperial Army and Navy. Likewise, it also was a prepositioned area for war materiel. Industry and manufacturing were plentiful in Nagasaki as well, and for this reason made the city a valuable target for an air raid. On 9 August 1945, Bockscar along with her sister B-29's set out from Tinian on what would be the second and last atomic bombing run on Japan. Their destination was the city of Kokura, with Nagasaki being the backup plan. Various delays in the spotting and bombing raids on other targets made the attack run on Kokura impossible. Heavy anti-aircraft fire around Kokura also proved to be perilous, resulting in the target acquisition phase of the mission to be aborted. The bombers then proceeded towards Nagasaki. Air raid sirens went off at 0750, but all clears were sounded by 0830. The Japanese spotted two B-29's at 1053, but assumed them to be recon planes, thus ignoring them. However, one of these B-29's was Bockscar. A last minute break in the clouds just moments before the mission was aborted allowed the crew to manually site the target, and the bomb - Fat Man - was dropped at 1101. Due to the rushed nature of deployment, the weapon detonated well away from the intended target area - over a tennis court. The Stance of the United States The United States wanted an unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese forces. This was due to the nature of the Japanese fighting on the home islands and on the occupied islands in the Pacific. Unless the surrender was unconditional, it was feared with reason that the Japanese would continue fighting - including civilians - to the last man. In an address to the public on 7 August, Truman addressed the nation and indicated that the U.S. was prepared to rain fire down on the Japanese with the likes of fury never seen before. That the U.S. had taken a $2 BN gamble on the atomic project, and won. In the Japanese surrender notice, Emperor Hirohito stated that the Japanese faced a grim reality: surrender, or faced the total annihilation of the Japanese and perhaps the entire world. Subsequently, just days after the bombing of Nagasaki, the Japanese accepted the terms of unconditional surrender - closing hostilities formally in the Pacific Theater and ending World War II. Tactical Reasons The United States had previously rallied to the Soviet Union for aid in the Pacific at the Potsdam Conference in 1945. However, Truman did not fully trust Stalin. Likewise, occupation issues were already beginning to arise in Europe, and Truman feared that if the Soviets were allowed to aid in the invasion, they would seek to annex any territory they claimed. As a result, Truman wanted to close hostilities before Stalin could get fully involved in the war and deploy a landing force. This did not stop the Soviets from declaring war on the Japanese in August of 1945, however, and the war declaration should be cited as another reason for the closing of Japanese hostilities. Casualty Reasons Military analysts from Japan, the United States, and Russia have all concluded and confirmed what the mode of battle would have looked like had the bombs not been used. The casualties mounted from the bombings ranged from between 130,000 to 275,000. However, the casualty numbers for Operation Downfall - the invasion of the Japanese home islands - and the subsequent operations in Japan dwarfed these. Downfall was projected to include almost fifty million combatants - thirty-one million of them were civilians. The casualty rate was projected to be between 60-75% by the close of operations. To put this in another way, about half a million purple hearts were manufactured in anticipation of the operation - that's more than all American casualties from war in the years spanning from 1945 to present. Truman was charged with the concern for American lives, first and foremost. The use of the atomic bomb allowed few Allied losses. In total, there were twelve Allied casualties in exchange for the surrender of the Japanese forces. Twelve men was a more palatable number than the estimations he was receiving from his closest war planners. Likewise, the lives of many more Japanese civilians were also at stake, had the operation continued. To this date, historians are in agreement that in the grand scope of the wartime operations: the deployment of the atomic bombs was, comparatively speaking, the more humane route of action in the decisions presented to Truman in August of 1945.
  10. Not that I disagree, but have you seen some of these collections? Have you seen some of the stories of people dropping over a thousand dollars just for a unit in a mobile game? Otaku are crazy.
  11. The earth hasn't exploded yet, so there's that.
  12. When one considers World War I, they may think of the stalemate on the western front in the trenches, or the unyielding bloodbath on the eastern front as Russia staved off an in-vasion in the middle of a revolution. One might find themselves quick to forget the collapse of the last old-world empire, the Ottoman Empire. The collapse of the six hundred year old empire would result in the subsequent destabilization of western Asia. The campaign to establish a foot-hold in the Dardanelles came in multiple phases, after allied forces at-tempted to take the Gallipoli peninsula. From February through March of 1915, Allied navies had attempted and failed to suppress the German and Ottoman positions. The British would blame inferior ships, forces of nature, and an extremely mobile Ottoman army. This would not be the last time the Allies would work to take Gallipoli. On 25 April 1915, combined forces from Britain's colonial assets appeared off the coast of what they would call Anzac Cove in the Aegean Sea. Supported by British naval artillery, soldiers from New Zealand, Australia, India, and Ireland took to the beaches in a push to cut the Ottoman army off from the Germans. Early in the morning, six companies from the 9th, 10th and 11th Australian Battalions, with six more companies following in pursuit, including soldiers from the 12th Battalion. Turkish forces had spotted the boats early, opening fire on them as they approached. However, the landing force pressed on despite the loss of six ships. Before noon, three New Zealand Brigades had landed at Anzac Cove under heavy fire. 3rd Brigade had lost most of it’s forces by that afternoon, and the 1st Brigade had also sustained heavy losses. In spite of this, the combined expeditionary forces continued to sweep inland at a steady pace. The approaching Australian forces were only halted by Mustafa Kemal and his 19th Division. Kemal, who would later become the first president of Turkey, rallied Turkish forces, by declaring “I do not order you to attack, I order you to die.” By the end of the first day, both the Ottomans and the Allies had suffered major losses at Anzac Cove. Further south at Cape Helles, the 1st Battalion of Ireland were provided cover by the guns of the Royal Navy as the main force swept inland. General Ian Hamilton, who was overseeing the Gallipoli landings, ordered that remaining forces left at V Beach move to support W Beach, ending the landings at V Beach in what was considered a failure. W Beach was heavily mined, and lined with barbed wire and trip wires. It was flanked by two machine gun positions, making landing even more perilous. Supporting fire from the Royal Navy were lifted before the 1st British Battalion landed. These fires failed to suppress the Ottomans, and they did not even sever the trip wires hidden under the water. As a result, many soldiers drowned after sinking with their equipment. By May, both sides had lost massive amounts of forces either attacking or counterattacking each other. Few, if any gains were made by either side outside of a few hundred yards at the expense of almost 10,000 soldiers. Fighting and death in no-mans-land became so severe, that a temporary truce was agreed to, so that the dead could be collected. The unhospitable conditions of the summer months on the Gallipoli peninsula added to the strain on both the invading Allied forces and the occupying German and Ottoman forces. The number of dead had increased even more, and decay led to unsanitary and vile conditions. The fall and winter months took their tolls, as the weather continued to be inhospitable for both forces, leaving little to no reprieve from the war on the front lines. Ultimately after 9 months of fighting on the peninsula, 200,000 were either dead or wounded. No gains were made by the Allied forces, making the invasion at Gallipoli a failure. However, the aftermath of Gallipoli and the actions of Ottoman soldiers who shared victory with German forces led to a disharmony among the Central Powers ranks. The German General in charge Otto Von Sanders sought to leave his post, though this request was ultimately refused. Gallipoli serves as an embodiment of some of the true horrors of war. Relentless fighting, poor conditions, morale issues, corruption, and disorganization factoring into a battle where there are no spoils. The men who fought in Gallipoli gave all for their empires. In the case of the British, that sacrifice would be for naught. For the Ottoman’s it would only be a temporary security, for the collapse of their empire was still guaranteed.
  13. How is it going, AF? I'm the (currently) newest staffer on the team. Around these parts I'm the "Provisionary" Aide De Camp for the Community Manager (until we think of something else to call it). That basically means I help with just about anything that is asked of me as my time allows. Could be a moderator, could be a coder, could be sounding board, could also be that guy at the end of the bar that gives the stink eye to all the creepers that waltz in. I do that last part well. In the day-to-day, I'm a student two-fold: a military history student in a post-graduate program by night, a pilot-in-training on other nights, and a U.S. Army Historian by day (every day). I also periodically divide up some free time among several local organizations, including animal welfare groups, and historical societies. As for anime: I'm probably the weakest one on the staff for that. I've slowly been adding anime back into my routine, most recently Saga of Tanya the Evil and Fate Grand Order. Previously that included DNAngel, Chrono Crusade, Black Cat, Pani Poni Dash, and Azumanga Daioh. As I've said before in other threads, I'll say it here - I work best as a listener and sounding board for forum members. Never hesitate to holler my way. I've got your six, over and out.
  14. $20 for 4 episodes really wasn't that bad. Especially if you were someone that put emphasis on quality. Then there was the whole "boxart" idea, that sold too. A lot of those single volume collections that acquired the full collection and the boxart are now worth bank. They were just geared to a different type of collector.
  15. Introduction At the request of @brycec - this topic was brought up in my queue. Over the course of the Cold War, world powers found themselves constantly at odds with each other. Nuclear testing was rampant. Atomic research was unchecked. Safety procedures were limited. The name of the game was espionage, spying, and various other forms of information gathering. After all, this was the definition of the Cold War: a war in which we spent countless time, money, manpower, and resources to one up the other. While certainly not the only definition, this defines one of several key components of the Cold War. The Space Race added another dimension to this, but despite the fact that satellites in theory could be launched, the most reliable form of intel gathering was using aircraft. The United States, CIA, Air Force, and DARPA, flew countless missions over the Soviet Bloc. Unfortunately, one of them didn't go quite as planned. DISCLAIMER The contents of this post do not reflect any official commentary from the United States government. Documents referenced include security identifiers. All documents are now either marked as (U) Unclassified or (P) Public, for public use and release. The Plane The aircraft in question in the incident was a U-2C Spy Plane, aptly named the Dragon Lady, tail number 56-6693. The U-2 is a large aircraft with an absolutely incredible and distinguished wing profile. Capable of flying at extreme altitudes of over 75,000 feet and over 6,000 miles in distance, many aspects of the aircraft remain classified. The aircraft was designed based on a glider design. In many cases, the aircraft required precision handling, as the wings were prone to snapping off. In addition, at cruising altitude, the aircrafts stall speed and maximum speed were anywhere from 1 to 6 miles per hour apart. This meant that the pilot had very little room for error when he was at altitude. On landing, the resistance generated by the wings would sometimes cause the plane to hover at the end of the runway. A single wheel was on the underbelly of the plane, meaning the plane had to teeter and balance itself on its belly on landing. On takeoff, the wheels on the wings broke away, as any modifications to the wings could cause them to snap off. The Incident On 1 May 1960, Captain Francis Gary Powers was in his routine flight pattern above Soviet airspace in his U-2C, tail number 56-6693. This U-2 was under ownership of the CIA. His route was to take him through the Eastern Soviet Union, overflying numerous Inter Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) sites, Surface-to-air Missile (SAM) sites, and enrichment sites for atomic weapons. These were routine flyovers that were designed to observe the movement of war materiel, and examine Soviet capabilities. The same practices were used to determine action later during the Cuban Missile Crisis. But on 1 May 1960, no such event had transpired. It was business as usual. The U-2's were designed to fly higher than SAM sites could reach, leaving them generally undisturbed. However, the Soviets had other thoughts in mind with new and improved anti-air defense technology. Soviet officers were ordered into the skies in MiG-19 aircraft, and given the command to ram the aircraft if necessary. However, due to the operating altitude of the aircraft, this proved to be impossible. All things seemed to be going according to plan aboard Powers' craft, until he entered the region covered by new SA-2 SAM sites. One of the three SAM sites successfully launched a volley that connected with Powers' plane, forcing him to eject and trash the plane. In the process, however, the Soviets intercepted at least one of their own MiG-19's in the volley. The MiG-19 was destroyed, and the pilot was killed. Powers landed in Soviet territory and was immediately captured. Despite this, the Soviets continued to believe the aircraft was still airborne for over a half hour after the plane had hit the ground. Powers would eventually be released back to the United States. He served 19 months of jail time in the Soviet Union before he was traded by Americans in exchange for a Soviet spy. The incident highlighted the need for higher flying and faster aircraft, eventually leading to the demand for the program that would birth the SR-71 Blackbird. The U-2 continues to fly various missions in different capacities for the USAF and NASA today.
  16. This popped up in my MilFeed about a half an hour ago. I figured that this would be a forum that would be somewhat receptive to this, and it should serve as reminder to all of us to have each others back in a way. While the emphasis is on domestic violence, that can be defined in many different ways. We all come from very different backgrounds, situations, geographic places, etc. It's important that we keep an open ear to out friends offline, as much as it is to pay attention to our friends online. After all, it's easier to make friends online (for many of us), and for others of us, we kind of get lost in the noise between online life and offline life. So here's a couple of things to remember this month: Abuse is abuse, period. It doesn't matter what form it takes nor how it is received. (It is a crime in many places, as well.) Cyber bullying is a major issue that targets many young people, but it can also target older individuals - especially those who subscribe to introversion. Physical interaction is not a requirement for the definition of abuse. The best thing you can do for someone struggling is be there for them. Be a listener! Some key things to point out as well, is that you can be a safety advocate just by doing a few simple things: Ask your friends. Check up on them. It doesn't have to be an in depth conversation, sometimes just asking them how their day was is enough. Listen to what they have to say. Don't feel like you have to have the answers for everything. If all is well, you'll know it. Relate to them, we come from different walks of life, but we all share similar experiences. If all is not well, refer them. Know the warning signs of abuse and the risk factors attached to it. If something seems out of control, support your friend, and have them refer it to the authorities or proper hotlines. Look for the positives. No matter how small, present a positive to your friend in need. It can be as silly sounding as "who else is going to watch this with me?" Lastly, to all of you here on AF - know that you can come to me for pretty much anything. I'm terrible when it comes to having reliable communication methods during the day, but I always listen and read what someone has to say. If you don't feel like you have someone to talk to, you do. Shoot me a message anytime.
  17. Yes, it very much could have been. This was not the only incident with B-52's and their payload either. Palomares drew more attention to the deterring operations. It's been my stance that incidents of misplaced/lost nuclear arms were the larger reasoning behind the SALT treaties rather than international outcries against atomic testing. After all, losing the weapons and military assets are extremely expensive and risk major international ramifications. But that's a thought for a different day, I suppose.
  18. Introduction One would certainly hope that we have always had a lock down on nuclear weapons, right? After all, the most powerful nations in the world wield these destructive weapons. However, the nature of these weapons wasn't exactly well understood on the birth of the technology. That's evident enough in the use of tactical arms on the front lines, and the idea of keeping enemies at bay behind walls of radioactive fallout. Meanwhile, we were selling tickets to atomic bomb tests in the middle of the Nevada desert. Sound reasoning, no? Unfortunately, it didn't stop there. There were a number of incidents in the 1950s, 1960s, and even the 1970s that involved damage or even loss of atomic weapons. The most notorious of these incidents is the Palomares Incident. The Plane The aircraft involved was a B-52G Stratofortress, tail number 58-0256 on a flight route that was typical for the nuclear deterrent mission that was ongoing in the Mediterranean region. Refueling of the aircraft was to take place near the coast of Spain en-route and on departure from the area. As was typical of the mission, the B-52 crew was carrying four hydrogen bombs in the weapons bay. The B-52 was set to refuel with a KC-135 Stratotanker. Both aircraft are substantially large, and both remain in service today. The B-52 was built specifically for the purpose of carrying heavy payloads long distances. Payloads, such as hydrogen bombs, were particularly heavy and required a much larger weapons bay than could be offered by smaller aircraft. The aircraft had the ability to travel large distance, but required multiple in-air refuelings in order to successfully complete a mission, thus the need for the KC-135. The KC-135 was also a very large aircraft, with the dedicated mission of refueling aircraft in the air and eliminating the need for an aircraft to land to resupply. Unfortunately, on the morning of 17 January 1966, these two planes would collide in mid-air during what should have been a routine refueling mission. The Incident On the morning of 17 January 1966, the B-52G carrying tail-number 58-0256 overshot its approach to the KC-135 tanker. A typical call to break away was not received by the B-52 crew, resulting in an impact. The KC-135 was almost immediately engulfed in flames after fire ignited the fuel reserves in the aircraft. The B-52 was damaged severely with it's left wing having been ripped off in an explosion, and control of the aircraft was lost, forcing the crew to eject. Meanwhile, the four hydrogen bombs were still on board the aircraft. The wreckage fell near the town of Palomares, Spain where three of the bombs also fell to earth. In two of the three multi-stage bombs, the conventional warhead detonated. This caused an explosion which spread radioactive material in the region. All three of these were recovered shortly after the impact. The fourth bomb was not immediately located, as it's parachute had deployed in freefall. The wind currents that day suggested the bomb had drifted out to sea. It was not until 2 April 1966 that the bomb was identified at a depth of about 3,000 feet that it was recovered. All of the crew on board the KC-135 died moments after impact. Three crew aboard the B-52 also died, while the other four were severely injured. The accident was reported immediately by a second B-52 that was in the area, and the resulting response time was relatively short for this reason. However, despite the rapid response, as of 2006, traces of contamination remain in the region of Palomares. The incident remains one of the greatest operational blunders of the U.S. Air Force.
  19. Quetzalcoatl has several pronunciations, but the accepted one is Kwetz-al-co-at. You can either pronounce the l at the end or leave it silent. Different dialects use the L differently.
  20. We had a comics class in my undergrad years and the Watchmen was one of the books in the class. I remember reading through it and thinking it was really good. There was a lot of cryptic imagery in it too which boded well for me. Still, I got hungup on the doomsday clock. I thought it was so fitting for the story, and Moore just nailed it. Didn't watch the movie - as it didn't really peak my interest, but the book was well worth the read.
  21. It was in retail, but that's one of those "security question" things...so...
  22. Yo. Seems this Dr. Stone thing is really picking up. I'm a bit slow on that curve myself (pause, so everyone can "boo" me properly). Anyway, welcome aboard, I am sure you'll fit right in amongst the crew of Dr. Stone and anime fans. I'm only partially speaking in the second person here...haha.
  23. Introduction Most recently, the tale of Quetzalcoatl was brought to my attention in a setting where I was not expecting. Far detached from the legends, Quetzalcoatl has fallen into a legacy of mismatched history. This is an unsettling trend that seems to be rampant in the history of Mesoamerica. From the destruction of Tenochtitlan by the construction of Mexico City, to the incorporation of sacred lands of Teotihuacan, Mesoamerica faces a grim future in the realm of history. The destruction of history, sadly, is not limited to just the physical manifestations, but also to the legends and the tales that stem from a culture long lost. In this take on Mesoamerica, we will be focusing on the chief deity of Nahua: The Winged Feathered Serpent Himself, Quetzalcoatl. Geographic Origins Quetzalcoatl's origin traces to the ancient city of Teotihuacan (Tay-oh-tee-wa-kahn) around the first century BCE. It is situated north-northeast of the ancient city of Tenochtitlan (Ten-o-chu-teet-lahn) - the modern day Mexico City. The modern geographic association with the city of Teotihuacan is approximately near San Juan, about half way between Meixco Highway 132 and 132D in the greater Mexico City metropolitan area. Teotihuacan's ancient geography, however, was dominated by the presence of a dormant volcano situated at the rear of the town. There were a series of chief pyramids and temples that were constructed along a main-roadway that curved in multiple dimensions (X & Y). This road was called the Avenue of the Dead, and it was the central way of commerce through the main square of the city. Two chief pyramids were located on this highway, the Pyramid of the Sun, and the Pyramid of the Moon. The third temple, was the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, later to be known as Quetzalcoatl. Placement The Feathered Serpent has no fewer than twenty different annotations and depictions across all of the Mesoamerican region and culture. This includes murals, sculptures, and scripture (to include codex, almanacs, and pottery). The Feathered Serpent varies in rank within the pantheon of Mesoamerican deities, depending on the era and culture that is being examined. In some instances, he is interchangeable between two other gods within the polytheistic pantheon. In other's - as Quetzalcoatl - he is the sole divine entity, above all other spirits in a monotheistic structure. In every case of the Feathered Serpent, or Quetzalcoatl's depiction, he has divine status that he often holds on his own. The Feathered Serpent appears in several name definitions: Quetzalcoatl (as most associated with the Mexican (Meh-she-cah) Aztecs), Kukulkan, and Tohil. The Serpent The serpent was a legendary creature to the Nahua people. It was a manifestation of the ups and downs in life in all of it's forms: happiness and sadness; grief and triumph; nourishment and depravity; flourishing and depletion. As such, the serpent was seen as the life cycle of life, and the Feathered Serpent was the chief deity to guide souls along this path from birth to the grave and beyond. The Nature of Quetzalcoatl For the purposes of this topic, we will focus on Quetzalcoatl specifically. Depending on which legend is referenced, Quetzalcoatl was born between a union of the God of Hunting, and the Goddess of Fertility. He had at least one sibling, who was the God of Death - for this reason, Quetzalcoatl is often attributed as the God of Life. In the astrological study, Quetzalcoatl aligns with the Planet Venus. By nature, he is seen as an even tempered deity that commands the wind, and also provides knowledge. The implications of Quetzalcoatl's status as the distributor of knowledge, suggests that he is the deity to appear to shaman's during ceremonies. Most often in these ceremonies, shaman would communicate with the souls of the dead or a liaison thereof that took the form of a feathered serpent. Quetzalcoatl appears both as a feathered serpent, but also has a humanoid form. He is often seen with a large headdress, fully decked out in jade - a highly sought after rock found in the region. His full regalia would have closely resembled what tribal leaders would wear. He carries a spear, similar to an atlatl throwing device. In all zoomorphic depictions, Quetzalcoatl and his similar cousins all are depicted as feathered serpents that share a rainbow coloration. Most of these depictions retain the headdress on the serpent to establish legitimacy of Quetzalcoatl's status as a deity. Worshiping Methods As with many Mesoamerican religions, the worship of Quetzalcoatl involved some physical attributes. This varied in ways from purpose to purpose and tribe to tribe. The most frequent form of worship was through the means of mutilation (sorry readers, but it was usually genital mutilation). Sacrifices were uncommon, but sometimes practice, largely varying on the ailment and tribe. Typical interactions utilized various herbs and beverages to push a shaman into a psychedelic state. The most common was smoke inhalation. Other methods included the ingestion of psychedelic mushrooms. Attributes In Aztec culture, Quetzalcoatl is the boundary between the Earth and the heavens. As such, he has direct control over anything that rides on the wind, including the position of the Sun, Moon, and stars; heat and cold; rain and drought. This coincides with the depiction of him serving as the God of Wind. However, in other depictions, Quetzalcoatl may direct rain, but it is up to another God or Goddess to provide whatever is on the wind. For example, in Mayan culture, the Moon Goddess (also referred to as Goddess O) was the one who brought rains. In none of the depictions of Quetzalcoatl is he depicted as particularly vengeful or wrathful, excluding the militant depictions of him. However, it is still not confirmed if these depictions are of Quetzalcoatl or another feathered serpent deity, such as Xolotl. Conclusions This essay was not designed to make claims to the validity of Quetzalcoatl, but rather to put emphasis on the associated legend attached to Quetzalcoatl and the ancient expectation or association with him. Likewise, no two sources seem to agree on the true interpretation of the Feathered Serpent, just as no two tribes agreed on the significance of this entity. Quetzalcoatl remains chiefly an Aztec deity, despite his appearances elsewhere up through 1450 CE. Research continues into the nature and legacy of Quetzalcoatl - however, due to the destruction of Tenochtitlan, this legend is all but lost. The legend of the Feathered Serpent from the era predating the Mexican Aztecs, on the other hand, remains to be seen as to whether it will ever be solved, as the cities of Teotihuacan, Tikal, and others continue modernization. Priority Bibliography Berdan, Frances. Aztecs of Central Mexico: An Imperial Society. Second Edition. Cenegage Learning, New York. 2004. Coe, Michael D. Breaking the Maya Code. Third Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2012. Coe, Michael D. The Maya. Ninth Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2015. Miller, Mary Ellen. The Art of Mesoamerica. Fifth Edition. Thames & Hudson. 2012. Schele, Linda; Miller, Mary Ellen; et al. The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art. George Braziller, Inc. 1992. Tedlock, Dennis (ed.) Popol Vuh. Definitive Edition. Touchstone. 1996.
  24. I dabbled a bit on response to this. Like I had told you, I first glanced across this when I was at work - so now having a better chance to sit and look, I've muddied over this a bit. I'm going to echo a bit of what Terra said in that "most people having some kind of experience similar." That is true. Sometimes it's the happiest people you know, or the successful people you perceive that struggle with things the most. We (being us as human beings) tend to put a lot of emphasis on "stuff." We have a fascination with it. Whether that's a nice car, a good job, a degree, a boy/girlfriend, experiences, things of obsession, things of possession...stuff. What I don't ever consider stuff is family - you can't choose them, right? While it's true, often times I've found that I had to source out a lot of who I was depending on to others. Friends, and sometimes even co-workers. I'm very sorry to hear that your mother reacted in that way. Whether there's a backstory or not, that's a painful reaction. My bottom line here is this: you aren't alone with any of this. You have a pretty decent group of misfits friends in those of us here though. We're also tradable! But all joking aside - you might be surprised how much you aren't alone in your strife. I know it's hard to see when you're down, but we're all kind of in this together. I got your six, battle buddy.
  25. First job: [ Redacted ] Current job: U.S. Army Historian (Command) Dream job: USAF FWD Deployed Fighter Pilot / Field Grade Officer Fav food: Steak. Lots and lots of steak. Fav dog: Australian Kelpie Fav candy: None Fav ice cream: Cookie Dough! Fav vehicle color: Black Fav holiday: Christmas Day of the week: Saturday Tattoos: 0 Like to cook: Yes Drive stick: Yes Like vegetables: Some Wear glasses: Yes Fav season: Autumn

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