Friday, August 12, 2022

LInks 12 August 2022

The man with the best helmet: Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn, Portrait of an Officer, 1612

People have paid up to $50,000 to be interviewed on popular podcasts. Fees in the $2,000 to $5,000 range seem common.

The latest from Pompeii is the excavation of a sort of utility closet in the House of the Enchanted Garden.

The history of messages in bottles, with cool examples.

For your amusement, the Polish Female Winged Hussars.

The decade of sore winners. Victimhood is the favorite drug among Americans these days, no matter how rich and famous.

Who is more skeptical in general, atheists, agnostics, or religious believers?

Education in New Zealand is in turmoil over how to teach Maori culture and history, and, in particular whether Maori traditional knowledge should be taught side by side with western science. The latest blow-up was over an article claiming, on the basis of oral tales about a great ancestor who sailed in a canoe made of human bones, that the Maori reached Antarctica in the 7th century. Jerry Coyne is outraged.

The hoax of the frozen man, supposedly thawed out in 1826 after centuries in the ice.

Oxtankah is a Maya site in coastal Mexico that is being investigated to learn more about Maya seafaring; they certainly traded with Caribbean Islands, at least.

Spitalfields Life on the Watermen's Stairs of London. And Stationers' Hall.

There is much less lightning over the sea than on land. These scientists say the reason is the sea salt in ocean spray. Basically, water droplets containing salt are bigger are have a lower freezing point, so they freeze less often, and it is mainly interaction among ice particles that creates lightning.

Vox reminds us that for a century, major bouts of inflation in the US are closely tied to increases in fossil fuel prices. Yet another reason to put that technological era behind us. In general the era of cheap oil (1920 onward) has been a environmental, political, and moral disaster and the sooner we can stop, the better. This is true regardless of possible climate effects.

The dank complexity of the "Dark Brandon" meme.

Ukraine Links

Ukrainian surprise attack on Russian air defense radars in the south, August 5-7, using American HARM missiles.

And the possible connection between those HARM attacks and the spectacular attack on the Saki naval air station in Crimea. Analysis of the first satellite images here; at least 10 modern jet aircraft destroyed, probably more damaged, plus large quantities of ammunition and fuel lost. One of the blasts was so powerful that cars 360m away were charred wrecks, all their glass gone; buildings 1.6 km away were damaged. On the other hand, some people say this was a special forces attack, not a missile at all. 

Russian officer notes that all of the casualties in his unit have been caused by artillery fire, none by small arms. I've noticed that military guys devote a lot of attention to rifles, but the evidence is that except for snipers, the fire of infantry has little effect on combined arms battles. I think the main point of giving infantry really nice rifles is to raise morale.

The fate of the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade, the unit responsible for many of the atrocities in Bucha: "at least several hundred dead" out of 1500, so likely most of  the unit is dead or wounded, especially when you consider that the source says around 100 refused to join the war in the first place.

HIMARS strike on the night of July 8-9 wiped out the leadership of the 20th Motor Rifle Division.

US Defense Department press conference, mostly Ukraine and Taiwan, quite interesting.

LPR fighter rants about why Russia's advance is so slow: poor strategy, poor artillery support, and the new recruits are really the bottom of the barrel. Interesting to me that the main complaint of infantry on both sides is that they have inadequate artillery and air support. 

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