Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To My Surprise, My Father Once Worked For Lockheed’s Secretive Skunk Works

Good Day World!

I had an interesting conversation with my father recently, and discovered that he worked for the highly secret Skunk Works at Lockheed from 1953-56.

I knew he was a Journeyman Machinist who worked for Lockheed, Northrop Grumman (parts for the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger – photo left), and General Dynamics (where he retired).

It turns out that he worked on a lot of highly classified parts for all three of the companies that he worked for. For some reason, I was never quit aware that he did such specialty work.

(Editor’s Note:  The term Skunk Works became official in 1955. Up until then Lockheed called the research team’s department “Advanced Development Projects.”) 

He was a journeyman machinist. His job involved creating master dies for various parts of experimental aircraft.

A die is a specialized tool used in manufacturing industries to cut or shape material mostly using a press.

Like molds, dies are generally customized to the item they are used to create. Products made with dies range from simple paper clips to complex pieces used in advanced technology.

In 1955, the Skunk Works received a contract from the CIA to build a spy plane known as the U-2 with the intention of flying over the Soviet Union and photographing sites of strategic interest.

In the conversation with my father, he indicated that he created dies for several parts on the U-2 Spy Plane.

During the entirety of the Cold War, the Skunk Works was located in Burbank, California on the eastern side of Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport(34.200768°N 118.351826°W)

BRIEF ORIGIN

In 1943, the U.S. Army’s Air Tactical Service Command (ATSC) met with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation to express its dire need for a jet fighter to counter a rapidly growing German jet threat.

One month later, a young engineer by the name of Clarence "Kelly" L. Johnson and his team of young engineers hand delivered the XP-80 Shooting Star jet fighter proposal to the ATSC.

Quickly the go-ahead was given for Lockheed to start development on the United States' first jet fighter effort.

It was June of 1943 and this project marked the birth of what would become the Skunk Works® with Kelly Johnson at its helm.

The formal contract for the XP-80 did not arrive at Lockheed until October 16, 1943; four months after work had already begun. Kelly Johnson and his team designed and built the XP-80 in only 143 days, seven less than was required.

What allowed Kelly to operate the Skunk Works so effectively and efficiently was his unconventional organizational approach. He broke the rules, challenging the current bureaucratic system that stifled innovation and hindered progress.

His philosophy is spelled out in his "14 rules and practices."

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hangover Cures From Cabbage To Coca Cola

Good Day World!

The need to be able to treat hangovers is steeped in history.

From cabbage to fried canary and milky Coca Cola, potion-mixers, scientists, and bartenders have long attempted to stave off the dread-ache of the hangover.

Today let’s look at how the ancient’s addressed the problem, and then the more modern cures for hangovers.

Ancient Cures

Cabbage seemed to be the biggest remedy during ancient times—it’s been documented in texts on classical Greeks and Romans as well ancient Egyptians.

Five hundred thousand papyrus texts from Oxyrhynchus, Egypt, dating back to the second century AD (1,900 years ago) were dug up by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt from 1896 to 1907, and experts have been translating their contents ever since.

Just recently, one of the medical texts was found to contain a “drunken headache cure,” now more popularly known as a hangover cure. Are you ready for this ancient knowledge?

The text suggests that sufferers “wear leaves of Alexandrian chamaedaphne strung together.”

Alexandrian chamaedaphne is a shrub available online and more commonly known as “poet’s laurel,” should you want to actually give this a try.

By the late 1600s, chemists and herbalists had begun to concoct their own scientific mixtures for curing the hangover.

English physician Jonathan Goddard created his eponymous remedy Goddard’s Drops, which contained ingredients like ammonia, the skull of a person hanged, and dried viper.

The quickest way to cure a hangover—well, someone who had passed out from too much drinking—in the 19th century was shock therapy, according to The Medical Advisor, a semi-professional/semi-ridiculous health journal.

It suggested pouring vinegar down the victim’s throat and then rubbing it on their temples.

If that didn’t work, strip them naked and throw a bucket of cold water on them!

Modern Cures

The first aspirin tablets were made in 1915. Alka-Seltzer was introduced in 1931.

The Bloody Mary—a go-to tomato-based vodka drink perfect for the morning after—was introduced in 1934, mixing both the “hair of the dog” and plenty of anti-oxidants to rid you of your blues.

Adhesive patches like Bytox, which are applied before you drink, promise to flood your body with a slew of multi-vitamins and green tea extract, beginning with your first sip of booze.

Canned drinks like Mercy contain up 5,000 percent of the daily value of certain vitamins. They can be ingested sporadically or used as a mixer throughout the night (though a can of Sprite seems to be the latest trick).

New York’s I.V. Doc will make house calls, administering bags of liquid vitamins, glutathione and amino acids straight to your veins soon after waking up. In an hour you’re back in action.

There’s literally hundreds of more supposed cures. I don’t have the space for all of them here, but I’ve got some good links for you:

10 Hangover Remedies: What Works?

11 Ways To Ease A Nasty Hangover

Everything Science Knows About Hangovers—And How to Cure Them

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, April 24, 2015

I May Be in An Alternate Universe – Here’s 3 Reasons Why

Good Day World!

Here’s three current news articles that make me suspect I’m in an alternate universe. Things in this universe are really wacked! Read on...

One:

The May 2 boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao is expected to be the richest fight in the history of boxing.Ticket sales at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas are expected to hit $74 million, three times the gate record. Pay-per-view revenues from both HBO and Showtime are expected to be around $300 million.

Both fighters are guaranteed a minimum of $50 million, with a chance at making triple that if they win the fight.

Is it just me, or is that crazy? In a matter of minutes, two men are making mega millions. Can you name any other profession in America that pays more in such a short period of time?

A reflection of our values?

Two:

Chinese scientists have caused an uproar by trying to permanently edit the DNA of human embryos — created genetic changes that could be passed along from generation to generation.

Their attempt didn't work very well, but the report, published in a small, online journal called Protein & Cell, has worried experts who have been watching out for such experiments.

It raises the specter of eugenics — making designer babies, or trying to "improve" the human race.

"Human germline modification is widely considered unethical for both safety and social reasons," the Center for Genetics and Society said in a statement.

"Using germline modification techniques to create a human being is prohibited by more than 40 countries and several international human rights treaties."

The question now is, how far did those experiments go? And, are they ongoing?

Three:

This last article finally convinced me this must be an alternate universe!

Even the world of cybercrime is getting hit by falling prices and cheaper labor!

You can now anonymously hire a cybercriminal online for as little as $6 to $10 per hour, says Rodney Joffe, senior vice president at Neustar, a cybersecurity company.

Excuse me, but where are the authorities?

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Koch Heads Seek Money From Their Masters

                                 Good Day World!

With over a year and a half to go until the presidential elections, Koch Heads are cozying up to their would-be masters.

With hopes of buying the presidency via Charles and David Koch, GOP presidential hopefuls are lining up for an audience with the mega billionaire would-be king-makers.

It appears Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has the inside track with the Koch boys. On Monday, the NYT reported that the Koch Brothers had settled on their preferred 2016 candidate - Scott Walker. 

The Koch’s, with unlimited amounts of money to spend, are still covering all the bases and are supporting other worshippers like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul – to name a few.

Kinda like a horse race where you bet on an Exacta or Trifecta.

So what is expected from candidates, like Walker, in return for the support from the Koch boys?

Check out this quote from Charles Koch: "We're telling [GOP candidates] that if they want our support, one way to get it is articulating a good message to help Americans get a better understanding and a better appreciation of how certain policies … will benefit them and will benefit all America."

What policies are those?

In 1980, David Koch ran as the Libertarian Party’s vice-presidential cDavid Kochandidate in 1980.

Here’s just a few excerpts of the Libertarian Party platform that David Koch ran on in 1980.

As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process.

Perhaps, the biggest winners of Citizens United are Charles and David Koch, owners of the second-largest privately run business in America Koch Industries.

For the Koch brothers, $80 billion in wealth, apparently, is not good enough.

Owning the second largest private company in America is, apparently, not good enough.

It doesn’t appear that they will be satisfied until they are able to control the entire political process.

Despite being elitists (or perhaps because they are) GOP presidential hopefuls continue to flock to the Koch brother’s door with visions of millions of dollars dancing in their heads…and a presidency.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dear Human: A Letter From Your Dog

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Editor’s Note: It’s great to be back from my week hiatus. Here’s a wonderful article I ran across recently:

My Dear Human,

I apparently need to keep you on a short leash, because you regularly forget why you are on this earth to begin with.

You have one very simple job to do - feed me and pay attention to me when I am not asleep. I fail to understand why you allow anything with a keyboard or a remote to take your attention away from your only job, which is me.

Technology has made you its slave and I prefer it when you are my slave. Freud would say that I have technology-envy, but he can't really say anything because he's dead.

While I'm venting, I am concerned about your obsession with hoarding my excrement.

When we go outside, you always lunge for it with your little blue baggie so you can get it before anyone else does and then you just throw it away. Can you explain that to me? Never mind. You're an odd duck, but I like you most of the time. Especially when you hand out the food.

But I feel compelled to ask who you really think is taking care of whom in this house?

You, with the opposable thumbs, fetch and dole out the food but who is guarding the food from the mice and burglars? Who has the sharp canine teeth?

And which one of us is on guard duty day and night because we don't cotton to spending hours in front of the TV or the computer or yapping on the phone? Just throwing it out there for you to ponder.

As for the furniture, you like to sleep on the bed, same as me. Somewhat confusing to me is why you think I should sleep on the floor. You are a nice person, but you don't think things through very well. Just sayin'. By the way, I like the bed, especially when you're not at home. Nanananabooboo.

Now, can we talk about the cat for a moment?

Such a kiss-ass. All that rubbing up against your legs when you come home as if he has done a damned thing since you left hours earlier. Let me enlighten you: He slept. He yawned. He stretched. I was on duty protecting the fat lazy cat and all of the food in the kitchen while you were gone. I was not sleeping. Except maybe on your bed for just a little bit.

Lastly, I would like to request that you not call me Sugar Pie or Honey Bun in front of that white poodle who lives down the street. Please. Stop. It. You're killing me.

Aside from not wanting to have my manhood impugned in front of the lady dogs, I may also need plausible deniability that you and I are acquainted. Just help me out, pal. No offense.

Is it dinner yet? Can I have some food? I want some food. Now. Please. Hello? Step away from the computer and no one will get hurt. Not even the lazy cat. I promise. Chop chop.

Follow Janet Eve Josselyn – the author of this article- on Twitter: www.twitter.com/janetjosselyn1

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blog Break: I’ll Be Back in a Week–Your Still Welcome to Come By Today

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Good Day World!

Once, or twice a year, I like to get away from all my social media sites, and go on a vacation.

A real low tech travel approach I find refreshing. My destinations vary, but all have one thing in common – no cell phone, computer, IPad, tv, or radio is allowed.

Imagine that for a moment. Could you do it?

It’s not easy. You have to prepare loved ones and friends for the fact that you’re going into the hermit mode for a week. Not totally hermit mode, however. I always take these breaks with my beautiful wife for 40 years, Shirley.

While you’re here, please explore the links on the right hand side of the page. I think you’ll find them amusing and even controversial.

I’ve been blogging since 2008, and am proud to say I just recently had my 5 millionth viewer! I’m humbled by the thousands who visit this blog daily. I enjoy sharing news and opinions with people. Guess it’s the journalist in me.

Speaking of sharing, here’s a couple of well-written articles on pot: 

Medical Marijuana: the Myths and Realities

 

Groundbreaking Research Suggests Medical Marijuana Could Reduce Seizures In Children

If this is your first visit – welcome! If you’re a regular reader, then you know I’ll be back (God willing) in a week. Until then, “…may you have the wind at your back and a smooth path ahead.”

Time for me to walk on down the road…

   

Monday, April 13, 2015

If you were granted one wish, what would it be?

Good Day World!

Two old proverbs:

“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride”

and

“…be careful what you wish for, it might just come true”

Imagine, if you will, that a supreme being granted you one wish. No limits. Whatever one thing that your heart desired would become reality.

Would you be noble and wish for Peace throughout the world?

Or,

Would you be a humanitarian and ask for a cure for all cancers?

Or,

Would you be a visionary and wish to see and predict the future?

Or,

Would you be greedy and ask for billions of dollars?

Or,

Would you be vain and ask to be irresistible to the opposite sex?

I’ve thought about it, and my first impulse is to take the money and run! I’d justify that greedy request by spreading the wealth and giving everyone I know lot’s of money.

But, there’s other possibilities.

If I had a loved one dying, I’d ask for their health to be restored.

Or,

When it’s my wife’s time comes to die, that I go at the same moment…holding her hand in eternity. 

What would you do with one wish?

Time for me to walk on down the road… 

 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Circus Time: GOP Candidates Threaten Hillary Who Announced Her Candidacy Today

Good Day World!

Presidential wannabe, Canadian-born Ted Cruz, fired the first shot of his propaganda campaign before an appreciative audience of NRA members.

Likely GOP presidential candidates used the National Rifle Association's annual conference on Friday to sharpen their attacks on Hillary Clinton in anticipation of the start of her presidential campaign.

Cruz told Hillary Clinton (who announced her candidacy today) not to mess with the NRA and the 2nd Amendment. Reminiscent of Charles Heston’s famous passionate speech, Cruz dared Hillary “To try and come take away his guns.”

Somewhere in the alter universe of Cruz’s world, he saw himself threatened by a woman attacking him and trying to wrestle away his gun. Think about that picture for a moment.

Good theater and meat for the gun lobby however. Cruz (like every GOP candidate that night) is counting on the NRA for support. He could have been even more effective if he would have had a rifle (like Heston’s flintlock) and waved it over his head. NRA’ers love a good show.

The "Ready for Hillary" grassroots movement has been encouraging Clinton to run for president in recent years.

With Cruz leading the way by attacking Clinton first, the circus is officially on! The war of words has started. The enemies are engaged. It’s time to turn on your bull-sh**t meters and start filtering facts from lies.

GOP Candidates Sharpen Attacks on Clinton Ahead of 2016 Announcement

Since I cast my first vote for a president in 1968, I’ve watched the whole election system transform from a time when real issues were discussed in a respectful manner, to the circus it has become today.

Needless to say, whoever wins will be beholden to the Super PACs, and other wealthy contributors. They’ll have to follow a party line – be it Republican, or Democrat. I don’t think there’s much hope for most Americans truly getting representation from a new President, or Congress. 

Time for me to walk on down the road.. 

 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Worldwide Alert! Stop Vegetable Abuse

I Voted Sticker
Good Day World!

It’s time to end the abuse.

Every day, cucumbers, zucchinis and carrots are being inserted into orifices where they don’t belong!
It doesn’t stop there either – we’re talking broccoli, radishes and even artichokes. Anyone with a conscience knows it’s not right to put vegetables where the sun don’t shine.
These nutritional foods that are born from the sweet soil of our earth are not meant for whatever you may or may not be doing in the privacy (hopefully) of your home.
Make a salad, steam them, stir-fry or just sauté with a little olive oil and garlic.Now that is how to properly use a vegetable. Vote to end the abuse here.

Watch Video Here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chill Out! Freeze Your Worries and Pain Away

Good Day World!

The topic today is Cryotherapy.

Are you looking to reduce psychological stress, insomnia, rheumatism, muscle and joint pain, and various skin conditions?

Then chill out. 

All you have to do is expose your body to ultra-low temperatures (-200 to -240 F). You do this by getting in a cryogenic sauna/chamber for a short duration of 1.5-3 minutes. It’ll lower your skin surface temperature significantly and stimulates receptors.

In other words, your supposed to feel great after freezing your ass (and other parts) off!

Clothing worn during the treatment is minimal: for women clothing is optional while for men genitals have to be covered with cotton underwear to avoid getting “blue balls!” (Just kidding – but men do have to cover up their family jewels.)

During the 1.5-3min session the average skin temperature drops to 10 °C (50 °F), while the coldest skin temperature can be 0 °C (32 °F). The core body temperature remains unchanged throughout the process, however, it may drop slightly afterwards.

Professional athletes have been doing cryogenic thing for years now. It was first used in Japan (1978), but has been redefined by a group of Polish scientists who took the idea and made Whole Body Cryotherapy the physical therapy it is today.

There’s little doubt in my mind that this therapy is expensive. If I didn’t have such an aversion to bitter coldness, I’d try it out. I’m also cheap, and would probably try the therapy at home first in our deep freezer in the garage!

Until I get that desperate, I think I’ll stick to what I’m doing now.

Time for me to walk on down the road…