Quiz Question

Base64

This came up when I was working for a company that did secure communications. We were doing the software that formatted the messages and sent them out over the secure link. The messages had to be encrypted prior to transmission. To save communication bandwidth we also wanted to compress the messages.

The question came up: Do we want to encrypt the messages and then compress them, or do we want to compress the messages and then encrypt them. The answer was obvious.

This is a question in two parts:

1. Which should you do first, encrypt or compress?

2. Why?

As with all of these, responses should be posted as a comment to this post. The answer will be provided in slightly more than a week.

Time’s Up!

I have had a couple of responses, and none of them have given the problem any serious thought. I also advised readers to try these concepts out. A small bit of experimentation would have revealed the what, but not maybe the why. And what is the answer?

1. Compress first, then encrypt.

2. You must compress first, because an encrypted file cannot be compressed.

A few minutes ago I ran this simple demonstration. I generated a text file—the first 12 chapters of Genesis. That seemed appropriate.

Next I constructed a simple encryption program, and encrypted the first 12 chapters of Genesis.

Now I had two files—the first 12 chapters of Genesis and the first 12 chapters of Genesis encrypted.

Then I zipped both files. Here is the result:

genesis.txt    39 KB
outfile.txt    39 KB (encrypted Genesis)
genesis.zip    12 KB
outfile.zip    39 KB

The encrypted file will not compress.

People who read the blog would have known this already. This principle was previously explained two years ago:

https://skeptic78240.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/the-codebreakers/

This is the thing that came to me 20 years ago when the question was first posed. It was like, “Yeah, dummy. If you have an encrypted message, and you can compress it, then you are a long way down the road to decoding it.” Since decoding encrypted messages is not usually trivial, compression is out of the question.

 

Lock and Load

I get introduced to a variety of people on Facebook. I would not trade these experiences for anything. A few days ago a conservative Facebook friend linked to a post by Steve Reichart. Steve is a United States Marine, currently not on active duty. He’s a Marine with an attitude. That’s what I expect of a Marine. I’ve known a few, and every one had an attitude.

Steve’s attitude is decidedly anti-liberal. He’s not slow to let us know:

If you could list three attributes common amongst liberals what would they be?

I know my 1st one would be “Unarmed”

No doubt his Facebook followers share his views on liberals. Of course, they could be wrong on a few points. For example, “Unarmed?” Pardon me while I chuckle. I’m counting five ultra-liberal souls in my immediate acquaintance, some related to me, and they are all heavily armed. And they know how to use their weapons. Another, a former boss of mine, ex-Navy officer, Ph.D. in mathematics, is an absolute gun fanatic. It’s likely this kind of information would take some of the shine off Steve Reichart’s rhetoric, but I resist pursuing that quest.

Besides being down on liberals, Steve has a thing with guns, ammo, and other symbols of firepower. He posts a bunch of appropriate images on Facebook. Here are some of them:

ReichartPistol

ReichartAPICartridges

ReichartMoreAPICartridges

Pictures of weapons and ammo show you are the type of man who is familiar with this kind of stuff. While some may say this is a bit of pointless bravado, I beg to disagree. I think it’s kind of cute.

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Bad Movie Wednesday

I was sure I would like this movie more than I actually did. A year ago I reviewed Chris Kyle’s book American Sniper, and found it to be a good read. The movie, directed by Clint Eastwood hit the full market audience this year, and after the DVD price dropped within my budget I ordered a copy from Amazon. I could have been warned by early reviews, but it became obvious after watching a few minutes the movie is not the book. Eastwood and possibly screen writer Jason Hall have attempted to make a literary work out of Kyle’s life story. Once you get past you’re not watching the book, the going gets easier.

Critiquing the DVD, my first complaint is this:

AmericanSniper-01

I wait months for the DVD, then I pay Amazon $12.99 plus tax, then I wait days for delivery and then wait all morning for the postman to arrive. Then I open the package and pop the disk into my player, and the first thing I see is a commercial message for a soft drink. I was hoping that by paying money up front that I could avoid the obligation of wading through an advertisement. I would hope in vain.

The opening scene evokes the opening lines of the book:

I LOOKED THROUGH THE SCOPE OF THE SNIPER RIFLE, SCANNING down the road of the tiny Iraqi town. Fifty yards away, a woman opened the door of a small house and stepped outside with her child.

The rest of the street was deserted. The local Iraqis had gone inside, most of them scared. A few curious souls peeked out from behind curtains, waiting. They could hear the rumble of the approaching American unit. The Marines were flooding up the road, marching north to liberate the country from Saddam Hussein.

It was my job to protect them. My platoon had taken over the building earlier in the day, sneaking into position to provide “overwatch”— prevent the enemy from ambushing the Marines as they came through.

Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Jim (2013-10-15). American Sniper: Memorial Edition (p. 1). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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The movie is not quite like that. In the movie the woman takes a grenade from under her clothing and hands it to the boy to carry out and throw at the Marines. Kyle’s first long distance shot of the war kills the boy. The second kills the woman. In reality the woman was the only target.

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There begins a flashback, in the movie and in the book, of life leading up to that moment. Kyle grew up in North Central Texas, the same as I did. Only our lives took different trajectories. My experience with the military was a stint in the Navy Reserve, starting my last year in high school. Home life for Kyle was somewhat more rigid than mine. Our family was not as overtly religious. Early scenes show a strict upbringing.

AmericanSniper-04

We see Kyle attempting a career as a rodeo performer, which career takes a downhill turn. Attacks on Americans by Muslim militants incite his ire, and the Navy SEAL service appears to be his way to address this need.

The Frogmen is a movie I saw at a tender age. I should have reviewed it first, but there’s still the opportunity. I will get a copy and cover it later this year. The movie came out in 1951 and dealt with men of the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team, frogmen. Ten years after watching the movie I got to see these guys for real. Stationed briefly at Little Creek in Virginia I would rise at the traditional Navy reveille hour and watch them running in from the beach, shouting at the top of their lungs. They had been out running in the surf all morning while I was in my warm bunk. I get the idea these were not men in training. This was their daily routine. Kyle’s SEAL training as depicted in the film is a shadow of reality. It is brutal, designed to weed out all but the most capable and the most dedicated.

AmericanSniper-05

Activated in the SEALs and with a new bride, Kyle deploys to Iraq during the initial invasion in 2003. There the SEALs had the task of providing cover for Marine units as they pushed into enemy territory. SEALs would infiltrate first and set up. Then they would watch for and suppress ambushes by Iraqi troops. More often than not it was not enemy troops that were the hazard but irregular forces launching sneak attacks. The movie shows a typical situation: A car carrying explosives bears down on a Marine column moving up a narrow street. The Marines pepper the car with rifle fire but don’t hit the driver. Kyle kills the driver with one shot through the windshield. In the driver’s hand is an aptly-named dead man switch. When the driver dies his hand releases the switch, setting off the explosives.

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The movie makes a lot of the hunt for Musab al-Zarqawi. This is complete fiction, and from this point on Eastwood and Hall have thrown the book aside, at least as far as the Iraqi war is concerned.

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The story of al-Zarqawi’s enforcer, known as “The Butcher,” who tortures and kills with an electric drill is another Eastwood add-on. In the film Kyle engages an enemy sniper, known as Mustafa.

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Mustafa is a constant menace, and in his final action Kyle takes him out with a shot of over a mile.

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The final second in the life of the sniper Mustafa

It’s again an Eastwood embellishment.

WHILE WE WERE ON THE BERM WATCHING THE CITY, WE WERE also watching warily for an Iraqi sniper known as Mustafa. From the reports we heard, Mustafa was an Olympics marksman who was using his skills against Americans and Iraqi police and soldiers. Several videos had been made and posted, boasting of his ability.

I never saw him, but other snipers later killed an Iraqi sniper we think was him.

Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Jim (2013-10-15). American Sniper: Memorial Edition (p. 139). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

A lot of reality is thrown away in this scene. For one thing it shows Kyle making a calculated kill shot. No sniper makes a calculated shot at this range. There are too many variables. It takes at least one throw-away shot to get the final offset, with a second shot to clean up.

Kyle’s long shot did take place in Sadr City, and he cites luck for his success on the first round.

We had no way of calling the convoy directly— to this day I don’t know exactly who they were, except that they were Army. But I put my scope on him and fired, hoping to at least scare him off with the shot or maybe warn the convoy.

At 2,100 yards, plus a little change, it would take a lot of luck to hit him. A lot of luck. Maybe the way I jerked the trigger to the right adjusted for the wind. Maybe gravity shifted and put that bullet right where it had to be. Maybe I was just the luckiest son of a bitch in Iraq. Whatever— I watched through my scope as the shot hit the Iraqi, who tumbled over the wall to the ground.

“Wow,” I muttered.

“You dumb lucky fucker,” said LT.

Twenty-one hundred yards. The shot amazes me even now. It was a straight-up luck shot; no way one shot should have gotten him.

Kyle, Chris; McEwen, Scott; DeFelice, Jim (2013-10-15). American Sniper: Memorial Edition (p. 349). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

The book is more of a story than the movie, and the book is not so much of a story as it is a narrative of the life of an American combatant. Kyle’s family life gets better coverage than his combat experience. Going off to war, leaving a young (and pregnant) wife behind, witnessing Hell on Earth and bringing those dark thoughts back home, it’s all too typical. His marriage did turn rocky during the period of his four deployments, but back home in Texas, out of the military and getting himself settled into a civilian career, Kyle seemed to be destined to success. Then inexplicably he was killed by a psychotic veteran he was trying to help. The movie concludes with scenes from the memorial tributes.

Who’s minding the store?

1985-12-31TruckOnSide-small

So I saw this:

CNN: VA Audit Reveals 57,000 Veterans Still Awaiting Care, 63,000 Never Got An Appointment At All

‘The facts just get worse and worse’

BY:
June 9, 2014 2:00 pm

CNN correspondent Drew Griffin reported on a new audit by the embattled Department of Veterans Affairs revealing 57,000 veterans are still awaiting care nationwide Monday on Wolf.

Griffin, who broke the VA scandal showing delayed care and secret waiting lists that led to dozens of veterans’ deaths last month, said the “facts just get worse and worse.” Another 63,000 have enrolled in the health care system in the last decade but never had an appointment.

“13 percent of the scheduling staff across the country indicated that they were told, as we’ve been reporting, to cook the books, to hide the fact that these veterans were waiting for so long,” Griffin said.

Host Wolf Blitzer called the numbers “shocking.” Griffin added that it was no longer an “allegation” that there was massive cooking of the books by agency bureaucrats to gain eligibility for bonuses, but rather a “fact.”

This was about a year ago. So I was thinking, “What the shit! What’s so hard about ensuring military veterans get the health care owed to them?” Then I saw this:

Security Firm: China Is Behind the OPM Hack

The U.S. government has been reluctant to pin blame for the massive espionage campaign. A leading cybersecurity company—relying on federal data—isn’t being so shy.
Hackers “affiliated with the Chinese government” conducted the massive theft of personal information on tens of millions of current and former U.S. government employees, an executive with a leading cyber security company told The Daily Beast.

The assessment, which the executive said is based on technical information provided by the U.S. government, comes as the Obama administration released new information about the scale of what may be the biggest act of cyber espionage in U.S. history. The government has so far refused to publicly identify a culprit, however.

And now this:

Sources: Nation’s disabled work program mired in corruption, fraud

So I’m beginning to think, “Who’s minding the store?” Is anybody in the government looking out for the country?

These aid to the disabled programs are funded by the United States Government. The programs do not pay directly to disabled people, but they ensure that certain government contracts are awarded to people with disabilities. And all this time nobody has been going out to the companies receiving these contracts to ensure they are actually hiring disabled people. What’s going on here? The saga continues:

While CNN has learned there are at least four inspectors general now with active investigations, none of them is officially tasked with oversight of the program or agency, and none has complete authority over it. They are pursuing it because of concerns that have been raised about specific contracts under their jurisdiction.

What’s so embarrassing is two of these scandals were broken not by insightful government employees, but by CNN reporter Drew Griffin. Should we fire a bunch of government watchdogs and hire Griffin? Nah. That would make it look as though the government can’t do its job.

So what’s with the Obama administration? Here’s the crowd that passed the Affordable Care Act, killed Osama bin Laden, forestalled disaster from hurricane Sandy, obtained marriage equality for homosexuals and negotiated a nuclear arms deal with Iran. But they can’t get government employees to do some of the minimum things they are supposed to do. How many different ways are there to say, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job?

I hate to be impolite, Mr. President, but this kind of shit was supposed to stop when you took office. Just see if I ever vote for you again.

Everlasting Comfort

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I have a variety of Facebook friends. They range almost the full spectrum. At times one of them will post a cute meme like the one below:

WePrayFootballPlayers

When I see something like this I usually just smile. And I let it go. Maybe not anymore.

I’m thinking that from now on when I see something like this I’m going to think of Jivan Kohar. He was ten years old this year, and he lived in a small village called Kudiya, in southwest Nepal. But not anymore. This is one of the last things Jivan Kohar saw:

nepal-human-sacrifice-9-exlarge-169

This is a religious temple. It was the site of a religious ritual, a ritual that involved killing young Jivan Kohar. See, this young boy needed to die so that another person could be healed. The other person was the son of a local man, and a priest told this man that a ritual murder would be effective in healing his son’s illness:

A Nepalese man has confessed to the murder of a young boy after saying a local holy man advised him that a human sacrifice would heal his ailing son, local police said.

The body of 10-year-old Jivan Kohar was found on July 24 on the outskirts of Kudiya village in southwest Nepal. The child had gone missing three days earlier.

Police superintendent Nal Prasad Upadhyaya, who headed the investigation, told CNN on Monday that Kodai Harijan admitted committing the gruesome crime with his relatives after consulting the priest. In some cultures, priests are believed to have magical or spiritual powers to cure the sick.

Of course, religion alone did not kill Jivan Kohar. His death also required the avarice of the man who did the killing. If  he had valued Jivan Kohar’s life as much as he valued the wellbeing of his own son, then Jivan Kohar would be alive today. However, if Kodai Harijan had understood completely that what the local holy man was telling him was complete fabrication, then he would not have seen the need to murder this other human being.

People will tell you that at its base religious belief is harmless. It’s only something in a person’s mind. It’s just a deeply held belief. It’s not a physical thing that can cause injury and death. This thinking flies in the face of the facts exemplified by the case of Jivan Kohar.

How many more people are going to have to fly airplanes into tall buildings? How many people are going to have to blow themselves up in crowded markets? How many more children are going to have to die of medical neglect before we all begin to see religion as the dark curse that it is?

Photo from KATU.com

Photo from KATU.com

Keep reading. And may Jesus have mercy on your soul.

Young Conservatives Triumph

CasingsInTheStreet

I was getting ready to put out my post on the Movie Theater Shooting of the Week. You know how this sort of thing goes:

The bloodshed at a Louisiana movie theater Thursday night capped an unusually violent week and a half in the United States.

There have been five mass killings in the last 10 days — one of the deadliest stretches in years, according to Jodi Upton, who runs the data journalism team at USA TODAY. The newspaper has tracked mass killings in the United States since 2006.

As you can see, this is the typical liberal press reaction, “Alarm, alarm! It’s so awful. The world is coming to an end.” Only it didn’t work this time. Attempts to lay this episode at the feet of political conservatives backfired. The Young Conservatives are on top of the issue and have let loose a broadside crafted to blow away the rising swell of libtard propaganda:

Evidence Shows Louisiana Shooter Supported Obama in 2012

Yehuda Remer
July 24, 2015 6:55 pm

Like all other shootings that have occurred (that were not carried out by Muslim fanatics), this one is no different. The Left immediately began calling foul, telling the world that the Louisiana gunman was a right-wing fanatic. The problem is that he wasn’t. Not only was he not right-wing, he even admitted to supporting President Obama and his agenda in what people are calling his manifesto.

According to Truth Revolt, John Houser admitted via a political forum that he backed President Obama in his bid for re-election in 2012, and that Obama in someways is similar to that of Timothy McVeigh.

Yes, it’s true. Shooter John (Rusty) Houser campaigned and voted for Barack Hussein Obama in 2012, when his record of failure was already so evident. This is laid out in Houser’s manifesto. Read it for yourself:

#1

Rusty Houser is offlineCorrespondent 

Location: Phenix City AL
Posts: 219
Blog Entries: 8

Default How do I cope with the US gov’t,it’s immorality,and stupidity?

1 Recognize a lost cause.It is too late.The US is oozing the puss of foolishness and perversion.
2 Find a positive way to exert your energies.I recommend laughing as often as possible.Here is something that is truly funny: since I accepted this it came to me that the president is doing exactly what Tim McVeigh did,only the president is much more effective.The way I see it,the faster he wrecks this nation, which in no way resembles what it’s founders envisioned,the faster working people with morals may re-assume command.ie I was for his re-election. I like his spending habits.etc……Truth and death always go hand in hand, and in our brave moments we can laugh. Whatever truth requires, I will accept.
3 Encourage whatever takes us forward. Right now, down is forward.

4 For the few who will understand this, it is my hope that you will see to one preparation for the coming downfall, which will be worse than a Mad Max scenario. That preparation is not storing up canned goods, munitions,etc, but to gather what will be necessary to put in your families food to insure a painless and certain death should the need arise.,if there are no cell phones,no TV,no power,gas,no stores,no police,etc.

5 If you are male, fight until the end, and enjoy it.People are good at what they enjoy, and your Maker would want it that way.

I have highlighted the pertinent text.

Well all right, Houser doesn’t exactly spell out that he campaigned and voted for B.O. back then, but you have to infer from his language his real meaning. He’s saying he connived with our traitorous president to wreck this country. If that’s not support, then we don’t know what is. It is so obvious that John Russell Houser was a bleeding heart liberal.

I admit, there may be some dark clouds obscuring this otherwise clear picture:

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Houser’s profile on PoliticalForum.com.

Ha! “no political affiliation” That’s a sure sign he was trying to disguise his left-leaning proclivities. There’s more:

He also had a Facebook profile under the name Rusty Houser, where he was a member of a group called “I hate liberals!”

Aha! Another attempt at disguise. It gets deeper:

Houser’s Facebook page. (Facebook)

Houser’s Facebook page. (Facebook)

If you are prone, as am I, to read left-wing sources, your vision can become irreversibly blurred. Avoid, if you can, absurdities such as this:

In June 2013, he registered on the website Tea Party Nation.

Houser also had a Twitter account that he only used twice, including to call the Westboro Baptist Church the “last real church” in America:

Houser’s Twitter account. (Twitter)

Houser’s Twitter account. (Twitter)

Readers, that pretty much demonstrates Houser’s connivance with our imitation president. Of course he was known to be a little salty in the head, but that’s what you would expect from a flaming liberal such as he. Score a big one for the Young Conservatives. And score one for gun rights while you’re at it.

Bad Movie of the Week

I was trying to figure out what this movie was all about. Then I looked at the title: Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Then I remembered. There were going to be flying saucers, and there was going to be a battle with Earth. Got it. It’s from Columbia Pictures in 1956 starring Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor.

Marlowe is Dr. Russell A. Marvin, scientist working for the early space program. Taylor is his bride of two hours as the movie opens. They are doing what your typical family of scientist do right after shaking off the rice. They are going back to work at the missile launching base. This is really steamy.

There’s been a lot of commotion with flying saucers, UFOs and stuff, and everybody is on edge. Wouldn’t you know it, as the newlyweds motor across the desert toward their honeymoon rocket launch, they are set upon by a flying saucer. Yikes!

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Astounded as they are by this close encounter of the first kind, they motor on and get to work on the missile launch. They are part of Project Skyhook. Being of that generation, I recall there was a Project Skyhook. Only it didn’t involve launching rockets from a space port. Skyhook lofted rockets way up high with balloons, from which they were launched. A little artistic license is involved here.

The movie cuts in various clips of actual rocket launches from the era. This appears to be one of the captured German V-2 rockets.

EarthVsTheFlyingSaucers-02

The father of the bride, Brig. Gen. John Hanley (Morris Ankrum), arrives at the base and attempts to warn off the launch. Flying saucers have been spotted. Too late. The launch goes off. It was supposed to put a satellite into orbit. It does, but as with the 10 before, this satellite is promptly downed by unknown forces.

Trying another launch, the base is again beset by flying saucers. This time one lands, and creatures get out. There is an immediate fire fight. One alien is killed, but the other aliens make quick work of the rocket, the remainder of the base, and all the people, except for Dr. and Mrs. Marvin, who survive inside the sealed launch bunker.

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The destruction of the base includes footage of an actual launch failure.

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The general is injured in the fight and is taken aboard the space craft, where the aliens pull a brain dump on him. Viewers have already been telegraphed that the general will not survive the movie.

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Back in Washington, D.C., the survivors Marvin prep our fearless leaders on the danger that lurks beyond the atmosphere. Dr. Marvin takes it upon himself to contact the aliens by radio, and they designate a meeting place along a secluded beach. He gets the idea this is an invitation he cannot refuse. Wife Carol, liaison officer Major Huglin (Donald Curtis) and a motorcycle cop tag along. All are invited, if you get what I mean, to enter the space craft. They are taken millions of miles from Earth and then back. The cop gets edgy and opens fire with his service revolver. He gets taken into custody by the aliens, who pull another brain dump and retain him while the others go free.

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The aliens have announced their intentions, and the prospect is not pretty. Earth decides to fight back. Dr. Marvin devises a sonic defense, and it gets tested at a remote lab. The aliens get wise, and there is an initial encounter.

It’s a draw. A scientist is killed. An alien is killed. The lab is destroyed. The sonic weapon truck is destroyed. The forest is set ablaze. The bodies of the general and the motorcycle cop are dumped out of a hovering saucer, falling to the ground in view of Dr. Marvin, the liaison officer and the general’s daughter.

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He was saying something about being off to see the wizard, and I shot him.

It’s all out war now. The flying saucers attack en masse. Sonic beams take down saucers all around Washington.

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Saucers attack famous Washington landmarks.

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Dr. Marvin and his bride bravely team together. Dr. Marvin drives a sonic beam truck while Carol sits in the seat beside him, looking frightened and very pretty. Soldiers shoot down flying saucers.

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Crashing saucers produce more destruction.

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It’s a battle of attrition. The Earth defenders eventually wear the attacking forces down, and the surviving saucers retreat back into space.

Life on earth is again peaceful, and the future looks bright for the people of the planet. Dr. Marvin and his bride spend a loving day at the beach and joyfully dash into the surf, feeling secure again. For the time being.

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This is a classic science fiction story, except for the science part. This was the year before the Soviet Union launched the first Earth satellite, and people on the street had little understanding of rocketry and orbital mechanics. In fact, they still don’t. Neither do movie producers and most politicians.

As the movie cranks up the principals ponder about what is shooting down the satellites they are putting up. The fact is, you don’t shoot satellites down. World War Two was only recently concluded, and people understood that a lot of airplanes got shot down. Satellites are not like airplanes. They do not fly through the air. Shooting one full of holes or shattering it with explosives will not bring it down. The pieces will continue to orbit the Earth.

Dr. Marvin gets the idea the aliens are using something like the sonic beam to attack satellites. Wrong again. Satellites move through airless space, where sonic beams will not go. It’s not a good day for science.

This is another exhibit of the work of famed special effects master Ray Harryhausen. He was given a budget of $4300 to build, and destroy, models of famous Washington structures. We have already seen some of his work, his first movie being Mighty Joe Young, wherein he recreated the King Kong sensation. I have also reviewed 20 Million Miles to Earth, featuring his first lizard animations. I have more in my stack. Watch for another lizard movie review, coming soon to a blog post near you.

The Anvil

Incendiary bombs are dropped from B-29 Superfortresses of the U.S. Army Air Forces on already-burning landing piers and surrounding buildings in Kobe, Japan, on June 4, 1945. http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-the-fall-of-imperial-japan/100175/

Incendiary bombs are dropped from B-29 Superfortresses of the U.S. Army Air Forces on already-burning landing piers and surrounding buildings in Kobe, Japan, on June 4, 1945. http://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/10/world-war-ii-the-fall-of-imperial-japan/100175/

Seventy years ago the world had entered a phase the likes of which were unknown to history. Ten years earlier the Japanese Empire had invaded Manchuria, and the Nazis were securing their grip on power in 20th century Germany. In the intervening years German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had initiated unprovoked wars with neighboring countries and eventually with the United States and with the Soviet Union. Benito Mussolini’s Italy had joined with Germany in its conquest of Europe. Japan had initiated a war with the United States and Britain with attacks in December 1941.

By this time 70 years ago the fortunes of the aggressor nations were completely reversed. Italy had capitulated in 1943, and by May of 1945 the whole of the German state was completely overrun and occupied by Allied armies.

With the destruction of its fleet in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 Japan had been reduced to an island fortress, cut off completely from the remainder of its empire and from the rest of the world. American naval and army forces so dominated the region around Japan that only a few remaining submersible vessels dared enter or leave its ports. American bomber planes ranged over the Japanese islands almost at will, destroying square miles of Japanese cities at a time in massive fire bomb raids. Ships were attacked and sunk pier side in Japanese ports.

The collection of islands that are the Japanese home land were densely populated, without the agricultural base to feed the people. Seventy years ago people on the islands were reduced to eating grass. And they were preparing for an invasion. One such was in the planning for November of 1945.

While the empire’s military on the home islands may have been a caged animal, its reach remained lethal. The Philippine Islands had been cleared of effective Japanese resistance, but remaining outposts continued to be defiant. In places such as the island of Borneo Japanese forces still held prisoner Western troops and civilians. As doom approached the Japanese army embarked on a campaign to eliminate this human burden and also any living witnesses to past atrocities. Elimination included burning prisoners alive in their cages.

This situation was no secret to Allied forces in the region. For this reason, among many, the option of waiting for the Japanese military to wither and die was discarded. The planned invasion was expected to result in massive casualties on both sides. At this point a horrible alternative presented itself. The world would never afterward be the same.

Bad Joke of the Week

Not yet

Not yet

Why I Owe My Mother ….
**************************************
1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
“If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning.”

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
“You better pray that will come out of the carpet.”

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
“If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week!”

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
“Because I said so, that’s why.”

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .
“If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you’re not going to the store with
me.”

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
“Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident.”

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about.”

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS .
“Shut your mouth and eat your supper.”

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTION-ISM.
“Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!”

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA ..
“You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.”

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
“This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it.”

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
“If I told you once, I’ve told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate!”

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
“I brought you into this world, and I can take you out..”

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION .
“Stop acting like your father!”

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
“There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have wonderful
parents like you do.”

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
“Just wait until we get home.”

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING ..
“You are going to get it when you get home!”

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
“If you don’t stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way.”

19. My mother taught me ESP.
“Put your sweater on; don’t you think I know when you are cold?”

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
“When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.”

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
“If you don’t eat your vegetables, you’ll never grow up.”

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.
“You’re just like your father.”

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
“Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?”

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
“When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.”

And my favorite:
25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
“One day you’ll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!”

Only you folks my age understand these profound statements!!!
But, there is one missing from this list~~My personal all time favorite!!

My mother taught me about CHOICE.
“Do you want me to stop this car?”