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Discussion Starter #61
Your Tank Is Dead: Meet the World’s First Anti-Tank Rifle

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by Caleb Larson, The National Interest, June 15, 2020

The First World War was a time of terrible destruction—and intense innovation and evolution. Several technologies that are considered a standard facet of today’s modern battlefields are directly attributable to advancements or improvements made during the Great War. Body armor, aerial warfare, tanks—all attributable to lessons learned during the First World War. One of the lesser-known advancements in military technology is the anti-tank rifle.

The tank made its battlefield debut in 1916 with the British army, and later with the French Army. Though early tank models were slow and cumbersome, steady improvements to their designs resulted in higher speed, thicker armor, and better firepower. Though anti-tank mines were effective against armor, it was difficult to guess with any accuracy where tanks would attempt to cross. Artillery was also a potential solution, though they could not always be zeroed onto tanks quickly enough. Bullets were one potential solution to Germany’s tank problem.

The standard German rifle cartridge in both the First and Second World Wars was the 7.92 millimeter Mauser round. It was quickly realized by the Germans that despite this round’s formidable stopping power, it didn’t stand a chance against British tanks. Germany began fielding the armor-piercing K round, or K bullet to troops for use against armored targets.

The round in question, depending on the variant, had either a steel or tungsten carbide core rather than soft lead, which easily deforms on impact with an armored target. But, as British armor improved, the round became less and less effective. It became evident that against late-model British tanks, the K round was completely impotent. Something bigger, with better penetration was needed. Germany looked to hunters for the answer.

One possible solution had African roots. The continent is home to the so-called “Big-Five.” These are some of the most dangerous animals one can hunt—elephants, lions, leopard, rhinoceros, and Cape Buffalo. Like a tank, taking one of the Big Five down is no easy feat—and like a tank, requires a large-caliber round.

Drawing on lessons learned from big-bore hunting cartridges, the German Army developed the large 13.2mm TuF round, German for Tank und Flieger, or Tank and Aircraft. This bottlenecked and semi-rimmed cartridge was big—bigger even that the .50 BMG round of later World War Two fame. Since the cartridge was designed to harass or disable British tanks, it came with a hardened steel core. A large cartridge requires a large guns, and the platform designed by the German firm Mauser was not light-weight.

Unloaded, the Mauser T-Gewehr was a heavy 35 pounds. Loaded, the rifle’s weight jumped to 40+ pounds, and was operable essentially just from the prone position. The long rifle came equipped with a bipod that attached to the barrel near the middle, and helped provide a solid, stable platform from which to fire. Using iron sights, the two-man shooter and ammunition bearer team could engage targets up to around 500 meters, or a little over 1,600 feet. The rifle used a bolt-action single shot system, and had an innovative pistol grip just rear of the trigger.

Shooting the T-Gewehr was likely very painful. The rifle lacked a muzzle brake or butt pad to reduce recoil. Shooting was probably done by both the ammunition bearer and main gunner to not overly fatigue either shooter.

Germany built over 15,000 of the T-Gewehr. Though the design was undeniably powerful, it suffered from poor mobility. Shooter comfort was also likely a serious issue. In any case, the T-Gewehr’s utility lessened near the end of the Great War with the introduction of thicker tank armor that was imperious to its large rounds—good news for T-Gewehr crews!




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Discussion Starter #62
Ford Motor Company incorporated, 1903

This Day: June 16 1903

Ford Motor Company incorporated

At 9:30 in the morning on June 16, 1903, Henry Ford and other prospective stockholders in the Ford Motor Company meet in Detroit to sign the official paperwork required to create a new corporation. Twelve stockholders were listed on the forms, which were signed, notarized and sent to the office of Michigan’s secretary of state. The company was officially incorporated the following day, when the secretary of state’s office received the articles of association.

Ford had built his first gasoline-powered vehicle–which he called the Quadricycle–in a workshop behind his home in 1896, while he was working as the chief engineer for the main plant of the Edison Illuminating Company in Detroit. He made two unsuccessful attempts to start a company to manufacture automobiles before 1903. A month after the Ford Motor Company was established, the first Ford car was assembled at a plant on Mack Avenue in Detroit .

In the early days of Ford, only a few cars were assembled per day, and they were built by hand by small groups of workers from parts made to order by other companies. With the introduction of the Model T in 1908, Ford succeeded in his mission to produce an affordable, efficient and reliable automobile for everyone: within a decade, nearly half the cars in America were Model Ts.

The sensational demand for the “Tin Lizzie” led Ford to develop mass-production methods, including large production plants, the use of standardized, interchangeable parts and, in 1913, the world’s first moving assembly line for cars. In 1914, to further improve productivity, Ford introduced the $5 daily wage for an eight-hour day for his workers (up from $2.34 for nine hours), setting a standard for the industry.

During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Ford began construction of a massive industrial complex along the banks of the River Rouge in Dearborn, Michigan. The plant manufactured all the components necessary for auto production, including a glass factory, rubber tire plant, steel mill and assembly line.

When Ford Motor’s other stockholders resisted the idea of building the River Rouge plant due to its enormous costs, Henry Ford (who as early as 1906 owned 58.5 percent of the company) bought them out, installing his son Edsel as president of the company in 1919. The elder Ford retained full control of the company’s operations, however, and returned to the presidency briefly after Edsel died in 1943, before handing it over to his grandson, Henry Ford II, in 1945.
Two years later, the legendary automaker died at his Dearborn home at the age of 83.


https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ford-motor-company-incorporated

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First roller coaster in America opens

On June 16, 1884

The first roller coaster in America opens at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, New York. Known as a switchback railway, it was the brainchild of LaMarcus Thompson, traveled approximately six miles per hour and cost a nickel to ride. The new entertainment was an instant success and by the turn of the century there were hundreds of roller coasters around the country.



Coney Island, a name believed to have come from the Dutch Konijn Eilandt, or Rabbit Island, is a tract of land along the Atlantic Ocean discovered by explorer Henry Hudson in 1609. The first hotel opened at Coney Island in 1829 and by the post-Civil War years, the area was an established resort with theaters, restaurants and a race track. Between 1897 and 1904, three amusement parks sprang up at Coney Island – Dreamland, Luna Park and Steeplechase. By the 1920s, Coney Island was reachable by subway and summer crowds of a million people a day flocked there for rides, games, sideshows, the beach and the two-and-a-half-mile boardwalk, completed in 1923.

The hot dog is said to have been invented at Coney Island in 1867 by Charles Feltman. In 1916, a nickel hot dog stand called Nathan’s was opened by a former Feltman employee and went on to become a Coney Island institution and international franchise. Today, Nathan’s is famous not only for its hot dogs but its hot dog-eating contest, held each Fourth of July in Coney Island.

Roller coasters and amusement parks experienced a decline during the Great Depression and World War II, when Americans had less cash to spend on entertainment. Finally, in 1955, the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California, signaled the advent of the modern theme park and a rebirth of the roller coaster. Disneyland’s success sparked a wave of new parks and coasters. By the 1970s, parks were competing to create the most thrilling rides.

By the mid-1960s, the major amusement parks at Coney Island had shut down and the area acquired a seedy image. In recent decades it has been revitalized, however, and remains a popular tourist attraction. It's still home to the Cyclone, a wooden coaster that made its debut in 1927. Capable of speeds of 60 mph and with an 85-foot drop, the Cyclone is one of the country’s oldest coasters in operation today.

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-roller-coaster-in-america-opens

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NASA's Famous Rocket Railroad Is Back in Business

Jennifer Leman popularmechanics.com June 17, 2020

NASA's Famous Rocket Railroad Is Back in Business


  • The boosters for NASA's Space Launch System arrived at Kennedy Space Center on June 12.
  • It's the first time NASA has booted up its storied railroad in 10 years.
  • Built in the 1960s, the NASA Railroad has played an important role in many historic missions.
NASA's massive SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft recently arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida after a 10-day, cross-country journey from Northrop Grumman's facility in Promontory, Utah. And it arrived in style on the storied NASA Railroad.



The 10-segment rocket booster and its accompanying spacecraft are slated to orbit the moon in the next few years and, eventually, ferry the first woman and next man to the moon in 2024 if the schedule holds. The first test flight of the system, Artemis I, is expected to blast off sometime next year.

“It is good to see booster segments rolling into the Kennedy Space Center,” Mike Bolger, program manager of Exploration Ground Systems, said in a press statement. “The team can’t wait to get started working on the boosters that will send the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft on the first Artemis mission to the moon.”

The rocket boosters are the first to be slapped on the mobile launcher. Now that the segments have arrived, a team will offload them and begin assembly and integration. The core stage of the SLS rocket, meanwhile, is currently at NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. Later this year, after a Green Run test, it will be shipped to Kennedy Space Center via a giant barge.

Each of the 180-ton booster segments were loaded onto souped-up railcars for their journey across the country. It's the first time in 10 years that NASA has shuttled rocket parts along its 38-mile industrial short line in Central Florida.

The Midnight Train to Florida



As the space race took off in the 1960s, NASA's Kennedy Space Center partnered with Florida East Coast Rail (FEC) to construct track that would be used to shuttle rocket parts across its sprawling campus. In 1965, the agency joined 28 miles of its newly built track to the FEC's recently constructed 7.5-mile track at Wilson's Corners junction, according to the Southeastern Railway Museum. FEC also constructed two rail yards, Jay Jay Yard and Wilson Yard, to park unused locomotives.

Before rocket-filled rail cars slip into NASA's restricted zone, they have to cross a half-mile-long drawbridge spanning the Indian River. The 9-mile-long East Leg of the NASA Railroad connects to launch pads 39A and 39B along the coast. The West Leg, also 9 miles long, connects to an industrial complex and the agency's Vehicle Assembly Building.

In the first 5 years of operation, the railroad delivered 30,000 carloads of material to help construct the massive crawlway connecting the VAB to the launch pads, according to the Southeastern Railway Museum. It took 56 railroad cars to transport the propellant needed to fuel the famed Saturn V rocket. The railroad, per the museum, was also integral in ferrying Apollo astronauts to "the sandpile," a lunar testing ground.



In 1983, NASA purchased the 7.5-mile stretch of FEC railway in order to upgrade it for the burgeoning shuttle program. Throughout its rich history, the NASA Railroad has transported a number of specialized locomotives including three World War II-era ex-U.S Army Alco S2 locomotives, purchased in the 1970s, and three EMD SW-1500 locomotives, which NASA acquired in the 1980s.

During the Space Shuttle era, NASA used the line to transport rocket booster segments from the Utah facility to NASA's famous launch complex along the Atlantic coast. The boosters traveled across stretches of railway owned by Union Pacific Railroad, Kansas City Southern, Norfolk Southern Railway, CSX Transportation and, of course, Florida East Coast Railway.

In 2014, NASA sent its "NASA red"-painted locomotive no. 2. to the Gold Coast Railroad Museum in Miami, according to USA Today. A year later, the agency donated locomotives no. 1 and 3 to the Natchitoches Parish Port in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and Madison Railroad in Madison, Indiana, respectively.

With the upcoming Artemis mission, the celebrated railway is back in business.

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Discussion Starter #67
Maps

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The most efficient route between every Springfield in the country:

















The Most Famous Brand From Each State












Kangaroo Ownership Legality







Countries Where Domino's Pizza Restaurants Exist



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Get Ready for The 10 Foot Tall Mutant Mosquitos!

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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Approved For Insect Population Control In The U.S.

Jeremy Blum HuffPost<time class="date Fz(11px) Mb(4px) D(ib)" datetime="2020-06-18T21:09:52.000Z" itemprop="datePublished" data-reactid="15"> June 18, 2020</time>


Genetically modified mosquitoes with the ability to prevent other mosquitoes from spreading deadly diseases may be making their way to Florida backyards in the near future.

British biotech group Oxitec announced on Tuesday that the company had won both federal and state approval to release its so-called “Friendly” mosquitoes in the U.S. on an experimental trial basis, expected to last until 2022, according to documents provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The insects will first be released in Monroe County, Florida, and Oxitec has plans to also bring them to Harris County, Texas.

Oxitec’s project involves Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads yellow fever, dengue fever and Zika, among other diseases. While female Aedes aegypti feed on blood and are the transmitters of such illnesses, male Aedes aegypti are harmless, and Oxitec’s “Friendly” mosquitoes are males who have been altered to carry a specific “self-limiting gene,” according to a description on the company’s website. This gene will reduce the lifespan of any female offspring they might foster, but will live on in males, “offering ... self-limiting generations of suppression” that can lower the general Aedes aegypti population over time, theoretically leading to a decrease in the diseases that the insects are known for.

“There is broad consensus amongst public health officials in the U.S. that a new generation of safe, targeted and cost-effective vector control tools are needed urgently to combat the growing threat posed by Aedes aegypti without impacting the ecosystem,” Grey Frandsen, Oxitec CEO, said in the company’s announcement. “We’re pleased that the EPA and Florida state regulators have, after extensive scientific reviews, approved our demonstration trials and we look forward to continuing the collaboration with our local partners as they take up the matter.”

This novel method of mosquito population control was recently tested in the municipality of Indaiatuba, near São Paulo, Brazil, from May 2018 to 2019. In one of the tested communities, Oxitec observed that the genetically modified mosquitoes managed to suppress the population of Aedes aegypti up to 96% within a four-week period.

Oxitec’s work in mosquito genetics is not without controversy, and the company has targeted Florida as a testing ground for nearly a decade.
A Change.org petition urging the EPA to reject the company’s proposals, originally posted online in 2012, has received over 230,000 signatures, and the EPA is facing pre-litigation from advocacy groups, including the Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth U.S., for approving Oxitec’s latest proposal.

Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the Center for Food Safety, called the mosquito project a “‘Jurassic Park’ experiment” in a statement. Hanson argued that by not carrying out in-depth consultations with local wildlife agencies before allowing Oxitec free rein with its insects, the EPA had “unlawfully refused to seriously analyze environmental risks.”


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Holy Crap!!!!

Holy Crap!!! Sooooooo this just happened.

The neighbors had been complaining that my dog had been barking non-stop. I hate the electric zapping bark collars so I purchased a humane citronella collar. When a dog barks, it shoots a blast of citronella under their nose and apparently they don't like it.

This evening I was getting the collar ready and filled it with the citronella liquid. And that's where my evening should have ended. But no, it's me, and I begin to become curious as to “how” the collars actually work.

So I'm standing by my back door "barking" at my dog's collar. Nothing happens. I make sure it's turned on, check the fill level, and go through the "getting started" check list one more time. Again, I bark. Nothing happens.

Now I'm not quite sure, why I had this next thought, but I did...I put the collar on. I seriously extended the band and fit the growl box against my throat and barked. Apparently, the collar only works if it feels vibrations, because I immediately received a blast of citronella to the face.

I began coughing, which only caused the collar to continue squirting bug spray over and over into my nasal cavity. I'm now on my hands and knees in my back yard, trying to breathe, and to make matters worse, the dog is barking.

So between coughing and yelling at him to shut up, I've emptied over a dozen blasts of citronella to my face. During all of this ruckus, I'm trying to undo the clasp of the collar, which has somehow managed to weld shut during this whole fiasco.

I finally get the collar off and threw, yes I threw that inhumane thing across the yard, and lay in the grass sucking in the humid evening air. In the middle of thinking this is probably the dumbest thing I've done in a while, I hear laughter.

MY NEIGHBOR SAW THE WHOLE THING!

He was laughing so damn hard he couldn't breathe. Between gasps, he tells me, "I was gonna come help, but every time I started to climb over the fence, you'd set it off again and then I would started laughing and couldn't make it." So now, not only are my eyes red, but my face and ears are too.

After checking to make sure I was ok, we parted ways and I went in to shower so I wouldn't smell like ode de' Tiki Torch.

Lesson learned: next time (yes, there will always be a next time with me) make sure that:
1. Don't fill the collar before trying to set it off.
2. Remember your neighbor is not a good source of help in a comedy crisis situation.

On the plus side, I won't have a mosquito problem for a few days!

Even though this does sound like some crazy thing that I'd do, I hate to break the news that it's a copied story that gave me a good laugh so feel free to do the same.

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Japanese Supercomputer Beats U.S., China

Japanese Supercomputer Beats U.S., China to Take World Speed Crown
Vlad Savov Bloomberg June 22, 2020

(Bloomberg) -- A supercomputer developed by Fujitsu Ltd. and Japan’s Riken research institute was ranked the world’s fastest in an independent survey, beating out U.S. and Chinese rivals.



Built using technology from SoftBank Group Corp.’s Arm Ltd., the Fugaku cluster has more than 150,000 processors and roughly 2.8 times the performance of the second-fastest supercomputer, according to TOP500, a research organization that compiles the rankings twice a year. It marks the first time that a Japanese supercomputer has led the ranking since Fujitsu’s K computer took the crown in 2011, the company said. It also boosts Arm’s claims that it can compete with the likes of Intel Corp. in high-performance computing.

The Fugaku supercomputer is installed at the Riken Center for Computational Science in Kobe and is the flagship system designed to support a number of applications that will address both social and scientific issues and will begin full operation in 2021. It will contribute to research in areas from drug discovery to weather forecasting and help shape policy decisions. It is already being used in the fight against COVID-19 to gain a better understanding of the novel coronavirus.

Arm processors power most of the world’s smartphones and Apple Inc. just announced a transition to building its Mac computers around the technology.

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Boom: This Battleships Rained 5,688 16-Inch Shells on North Vietnam Forces

The battleship era was not quiet over during the Vietnam War. During that conflict, America's large battlewagons were used to bombard enemy positions.

by Kyle Mizokami The National Interest • June 26, 2020


As the war in Vietnam reached its crescendo, the U.S. Navy prepared to recommission one of the most powerful ships ever to serve in the fleet. USS New Jersey, an Iowa-class battleship, was reactivated to provide naval gunfire support for American and allied forces fighting in South Vietnam. The battlewagon fired nearly twenty thousand shells during its tour of duty, bombarding enemy forces the way only a battleship can.

The USS New Jersey was the second Iowa-class battleship ever built, and the third from last U.S. Navy battleship ever built. New Jersey was part of the Navy’s prewar rearmament program, as the United States began to build up its forces in response to war in both Europe and the Pacific. Construction began at the Philadelphia Naval Yard on September 16, 1940, and the ship was launched exactly one year after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1942. She was finally commissioned into the U.S. Navy on May 23, 1943.

New Jersey was built to the same specifications as her three sister ships: Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin. (Two additional ships, Illinois and Kentucky, were ordered but never completed.) Each battleship was 860 feet long, weighed 57,350 tons fully loaded with ammunition and fuel, and were powered by four General Electric steam turbines, giving them a top speed of 33 knots. The battleships were armed with nine sixteen-inch guns, twenty five-inch dual purpose guns, eighty 40-millimeter anti-aircraft guns, and forty nine 20-millimeter anti-aircraft guns.

The Ohio-class battleships were originally designed to duke it out with other battleships, including such Axis ships as the German Bismarck and the Japanese super-battleships Yamato and Musashi. The changing nature of warfare, however, relegated the battleships to providing naval gunfire support for Army and Marine landings across the Pacific and anti-air warfare escort for aircraft carriers. All four briefly saw action in the Korean War, with Iowa, New Jersey, and Wisconsin all reactivated to provide heavy gunfire support from the sea. The Korean War ended in 1953 and New Jersey was again decommissioned in 1957.

In 1968 New Jersey was brought out of mothballs yet again, for yet another war. New Jersey was recommissioned on April 6, 1968 at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she had been built a quarter century before. The battleship had only a modest set of modifications: her 40-millimeter guns were removed and a helicopter landing pad was added. The ship was also fitted with SHORTSTOP, a brand new combined jammer and chaff launcher meant to protect the ship from radar-guided anti-ship missiles.

The U.S. Navy, concerned by aircraft losses in the air campaign against North Vietnam, saw the battleship as a low-risk way of bombarding coastal targets without losing aircraft and pilots. North Vietnam, other than tactical aircraft and torpedo boats, had little that could damage a battleship parked off its coastline. A battleship could provide responsive fire support day or night, rain or shine, whenever friendly forces needed it.

USS New Jersey departed Philadelphia on May 16, 1968, traveling down the East Coast and passing through the Panama Canal before arriving at her new home port of Long Beach. The ship fired her guns, including the sixteen-inch guns off San Clemente Island in June 1968, then proceeded to Hawaii and then Subic Bay, the Philippines.

The battleship finally arrived off the coast of Southeast Asia on September 29th, 1968, and fired her guns in anger again for the first time in over fifteen years the next day. New Jersey was on the gun line in South Vietnam for 120 days. She participated in the U.S. Navy’s Operation Sea Dragon, an effort to disrupt North Vietnam’s seagoing supply effort, shell coastal batteries and radar sites. As originally intended, New Jersey was able to relieve U.S. tactical air forces from missions near the enemy coastline. The battleship also responded to calls for fire from the 1st and 3d Marine Divisions, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and 101st Airborne Division.

Over the course of her relatively short Vietnam patrol New Jersey fired 5,688 16-inch gun rounds and 14,891 five-inch gun rounds, far more than she fired during World War II and the Korean War combined. She was never seriously attacked by North Vietnamese forces.

After her Vietnam tour the ship returned to Long Beach. During the workup to her second tour her crew learned that the ship was scheduled to once again go into mothballs, the victim of cost cutting. Even a draftee military found it difficult to financially support a ship with 1,600 crew members and the demands of both Vietnam and the Cold War to satisfy.

New Jersey was inactivated in 1969. The old battlewagon would be reactivated just twelve years later as part of an effort to bring the U.S. Navy battle fleet up to 600 ships.

USS New Jersey is now moored in Camden, New Jersey, where she serves as a floating museum.


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14 Kills: This U.S. Navy Submarine Had No Enemy Match in World War II

Before Japan surrendered, USS Batfish would do seven war patrols, sinking 14 enemy vessels, almost 38,000 tons of shipping.​

Warfare History Network The National Interest • June 25, 2020


She was a sleek, efficient, deadly killer, a home to six officers and 60 enlisted men, and a holy terror to the enemy. She was a fleet submarine, and she was called Batfish.

She was not among the record-holding American boats in total tonnage or number of ships sunk, but the submarine force of Imperial Japan had reason to fear her. For Batfish was one of only two Allied boats with the distinction of sinking three enemy submarines. Her only competition came from Great Britain’s HMS Upholder, which sank three Axis boats in the Mediterranean, part of almost 130,000 tons of German and Italian shipping she sent to the bottom.

Oddly, Batfish’s first encounter with a hostile vessel was also with a submarine, this time a presumed German U-boat in the Atlantic, not long after her commissioning. The German fired two torpedoes at her, but both missed entirely. Engine room crewman Tex Davis remembers the occasion vividly, especially three commands in quick succession from the skipper of Batfish: “Battle stations, fire 9 and 10, and dive.”

“It was all over,” says Tex, “before I could even get to my battle station.” Today, surviving Batfish crewmen suspect that they may have sunk still another submarine on that day, but no official confirmation of the German sub was ever received.

Sadly, Batfish’s only rival—Upholder—disappeared with all hands on her 25th sortie from embattled Malta, victim of an Axis mine or surface escort, but Batfish had better luck. Today she lies quietly on the lawn outside the World War II Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma, basking in the sun, dreaming, maybe, of other days. Some of her old crew visit her from time to time, and the public goes aboard her and wanders through her compartments, sometimes wondering aloud how so many men could live and fight in such a tiny, cramped space for weeks on end.

In fact, her crew quickly got used to their cramped quarters: “It was,” says signalman Jim Callanan, “like being in my own living room.” And by the standards of World War II Batfish was not tiny at all. She was state-of-the-art for those far-off days, a diesel-electric submarine of the Balao class, just over 300 feet long, displacing some 1,800 tons surfaced and about 2,400 submerged. She was capable of just over 20 knots on the surface, using all four of her diesel engines. She could do almost nine knots submerged for short periods, and her 10 21-inch torpedo tubes gave her a mighty punch. She carried 24 torpedoes, each of which would run at 45 knots over about 4,500 yards; they could also be set to run at 31 knots, extending their range to some 9,000 yards.

In addition to her sonar and radar, Batfish also carried a unique piece of equipment called a bathythermograph, which measured the thermal layers of the deep sea. These layers, made up of water of differing temperatures, distorted and deflected sound, and so provided a refuge for submarines, places in which to hide from the deadly tentacles of a destroyer’s sonar search. Properly used, it could also help the boat find a spot from which her own “ears” could reach out extraordinary distances to locate an enemy.

Batfish mounted a 4-inch deck gun plus antiaircraft weapons—one 40mm and one 20mm—and later in her career she would be fitted with still another light cannon of each caliber. And she carried radar, two sets in fact, much more efficient equipment than that installed in her Japanese rivals, as time would prove.

One radar set scanned the vastness of the sky for aircraft, generally hostile in her operational area. It would efficiently warn of the presence of an aircraft somewhere within the set’s range, but could not pinpoint its direction. On the other hand, the surface-search radar would reach far out to tell the direction of a vessel on the surface. It could give the radar men a bearing on anything the set saw, and it could be used when the submarine was slightly submerged. These radars were the key to surviving in her operational area, the extremely perilous waters off Japan, the Philippines, and Formosa.

Batfish could easily operate as far below the surface as 400 feet, about a hundred feet deeper than her otherwise similar predecessors of the Gato class. If she were driven deeper, somewhere below 400 feet lay her “crush depth,” but just how far down that was, nobody knew. The best guess was that she could not live below 850 feet.

For Batfish was built to survive. Her all-welded hull was made of inch-thick steel, and she was divided into eight watertight compartments. The passage between compartments was only one by four feet, a perpetual danger to heads and shins, but each compartment could be closed by a massive 500-pound watertight steel door. Her conning tower, also watertight, was a tiny place, about eight feet by 15, the heart of the boat during an attack. Once she neared a target, she closed down her big search periscope, relying on the attack periscope, which was longer and thinner and left less of a wake, a “feather” in submariner jargon.

Before Japan Surrendered, Batfish Would do Seven War Patrols, Sinking 14 Enemy Vessels, Almost 38,000 Tons of Shipping.​

Running on the surface, she used one or more of her four diesels, which were also used to charge her array of batteries, more than 50 tons of them. When she had to dive, those batteries powered her electric motors, which would keep her going submerged for about 24 hours at very low speeds.

Batfish was commissioned August 21, 1943, at the Navy Yard in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. After her trials, she joined the ever-increasing submarine offensive in the Pacific, a ceaseless, merciless campaign that accounted for more than 300 enemy ships during that year at a cost of 15 American boats. Before Japan surrendered, Batfish would do seven war patrols, sinking 14 enemy vessels, almost 38,000 tons of shipping. She also damaged two or three other ships, and along the way she fished three American aircrews out of the unforgiving waters of the South China Sea.

Batfish earned a Presidential Unit Citation, nine battle stars, a Navy Cross, four Silver Stars, and 10 Bronze Stars. It was a gallant and enviable record, and the men who sailed in her had every reason to be proud.

Early on, however, in spite of some modest success against the Japanese, some of the men who sailed in Batfish may have felt that she still had something to prove. Under a prior commander, later relieved of command, Batfish had spotted the super-battleship Yamato, but failed to attack her. Batfish had picked up the huge ship on radar at night in heavy seas, but according to one story the sub’s skipper so feared a hit from one of the battleship’s 18-inch main guns that he refused to press home an attack.

According to that version of the incident, the captain remained adamant even when one of his own officers told him he had been a battleship turret officer and, “t would be utterly impossible for a pointer and trainer of a fire control party to stay on us the way we were bounding around. [He] was still concerned over being ‘blown out of the water’ by a 16-inch [sic] shell.…”
Batfish’s executive officer was so angry that he later asked to be—and was—transferred out of the boat. In any case, after the boat’s second patrol this captain was relieved of command, probably because of an alcohol problem.

On the other hand, one crew member, Tex Davis, recalls that a combination of Yamato’s speed, the heavy weather, and the battleship’s alert escorts made an attack impossible, although several attempts were made to close in to torpedo range. Yamato steamed directly over Batfish, he remembers: “Her screws shook the whole boat.”

The captain, he recalls, tried to close with Yamato in spite of the escorts and very rough seas but could not shoot without endangering his own boat. Davis remembers that Yamato’s escorts dropped more than a hundred depth charges to protect their huge charge. For his part, he admired the captain, who, he said, “was like a father to me.”

Better, more successful days followed under the new captain, Commander John K. Fyfe, called “Jake,” who took over the boat after her second patrol. Patrolling off Honshu under Fyfe’s highly effective leadership, Batfish got one Japanese ship, and then, in the Palaus, she finished off the destroyer Samidare, already damaged by an air strike. Jake Fyfe made very sure of Samidare, putting six torpedoes into her, blowing off her stern, and leaving her “sinking fast and smoking heavily.” When a Japanese minesweeper showed up to help Samidare, Fyfe got her too.

Along the way Batfish encountered an unusual foe, the lineal descendant of a British innovation in World War I. She looked like the sort of quarry every submariner coveted, a Maru, a substantial Japanese merchant ship. In fact, she was what the Royal Navy dubbed a “Q-ship,” a merchant vessel filled with lumber or cork, crammed with concealed guns and manned by a regular Navy crew. They were trained to remain hidden no matter what punishment their vessel absorbed, hoping an enemy submarine would surface long enough for their guns to sink her.

This time the Japanese were unsuccessful. Batfish engaged the Maru at long range on the surface, but turned to run for her life once the shielding on the Q-ship’s guns fell away to reveal her true nature. “That was the biggest damn barrel,” said one lookout afterward, remembering the gaping muzzle of the Japanese ship’s forward gun. Fyfe recalled a series of unsuccessful salvos from the frustrated Japanese ship, and crew members vividly remembered a dive in record time. “One hundred feet in 26 seconds,” said one.

Batfish had more enemies at sea than the destroyers and smaller escort vessels of the Japanese Navy. Aircraft were a constant threat in the waters off Japan, Formosa, and the Philippines, although Captain Fyfe was surprised by the number of hostile aircraft that came close to the submarine but did not attack. The captain attributed this lack of vigilance in part to American air power. Japanese aviators, he thought, probably spent “as much time looking up as looking down,” for fear of American planes.

Those same friendly aircraft, however, were sometimes a mighty trial to Batfish. Eager American aviators were occasionally wont to attack anything that looked like a submarine, without wondering long to whom the boat belonged. Three times, Tex Davis recalls, U.S. aircraft bombed Batfish. On one occasion, he remembers, the boat was attacked by American aircraft when the submarine had two rescued American pilots on board. At another time, a friendly airplane dived on them while Batfish was talking by radio to the offending pilot’s squadron leader. On at least one occasion, an American aircraft dove on Batfish while the submarine was operating her IFF (identification friend or foe) equipment.

Surviving not so friendly fire, in October 1944 Batfish was part of the massive submarine cordon around the Philippines during the long-awaited invasion. In the next month, she was part of a wolfpack led by the submarine USS Batfish, Plaice, Scabbardfish, Archerfish, Blackfish, attacking a convoy in Lingayen Gulf. Captain Fyfe got credit for two freighters on this occasion, but the best was yet to come. It happened in February 1945, as Batfish was on her sixth combat patrol.

Batfish returned to Pearl Harbor to refit after her fifth patrol, traded in her 4-inch gun for a 5-incher and added a 40mm antiaircraft gun. Some 67 alterations, read additions and repairs, were undertaken during the boat’s 16-day refit, and even then there was not enough time to fully finish up everything necessary to get Batfish up to her top fighting trim. But the Pacific War did not wait for repairs or much of anything else, and after a brief training period, Batfish announced her readiness for sea on December 30, 1944.

The Year 1945 Would be a Banner Year for Batfish.

She was working the area of Luzon Strait, off the Philippines, when American codebreakers picked up a message that four Japanese submarines were bound for Luzon. Their mission was to run ammunition into the Philippines, and on the return leg to evacuate Japanese aircrews and other critical personnel to Formosa. American naval intelligence had even deciphered the submarines’ sailing dates and the routes they would take. The Japanese boats were sailing straight into the teeth of a waiting American picket line composed of Batfish, Plaice, Scabbardfish, Archerfish, Blackfish, and Sea Poacher, all deployed across Luzon Strait.

Batfish was combat worthy, but she had developed some defects her commander looked forward to repairing during the next refit. In addition to some more minor problems, both of the boat’s periscopes leaked badly, and the once quiet boat had developed a serious noise problem. “Now any speed over 3 knots,” wrote Captain Fyfe, “and we sound like a freight train.” But even with these and the other nagging problems, she was about to have her finest hour.

About 10:15 on the night of February 9, the submarine’s radar watch picked up signals on the sub’s APR gear, emissions from somebody else’s radar, somewhere out there in the blackness of the night. Not long afterward, the submarine’s own radar picked up a blip, a vessel some 11,000 yards distant. But was the vessel friend or foe?

Fyfe radioed the other American boats in the pack to which he belonged, asking each her position. Crewmen remembered the answers coming in one by one, “not me, not me.” Once all the friendly boats had answered, Fyfe was virtually certain that the contact was not a friendly ship and assumed it to be one of the Japanese submarines making for Luzon.

He was right, but even then he would not shoot until he gained visual contact and made sure the target was an enemy. At last the captain saw what radarman Jim Callanan and Tex Davis remembered as the characteristic hump forward of the conning tower in Japanese I-class submarines. Fyfe was sure of his quarry now and set up his torpedo attack.

The night was gloomy, dark and overcast, and there was no moon, excellent weather for a surface attack. Captain Fyfe positioned his boat to take advantage of the darkness, so that he approached his target from the east with the deepest of the gloom behind him.

Just before midnight, Fyfe fired at 1,850 yards, but all of his torpedoes missed. He was still in the game, however, for the Japanese vessel did not dive or otherwise react, but went steadily on its way. Apparently nobody on the target’s conning tower had seen the track of the American torpedoes, and her crew had obviously ignored the explosion of Fyfe’s torpedoes at the end of their unsuccessful run.

And so Fyfe reasoned that the Japanese radar was either designed solely for antiaircraft detection, or terribly inefficient, or maybe both. So, Fyfe recomputed his attack, deciding that the enemy’s estimated speed for the first attack had been two knots too slow. He then closed to 990 yards and fired three more fish just after midnight. The first ran hot in the tube, ejecting on the second try but running erratically off into the night. The third also missed. But the second torpedo ran true.

In a “brilliant red explosion that lit up the whole sky,” the Japanese boat exploded and sank quickly, and Fyfe’s radar watch saw the target blowing apart. Crewmen thought they had heard an “air fish,” a compressed air torpedo, rush past their hull in the water, as if the Japanese boat had fired about the same time Batfish did.

Because Fyfe’s crew heard he had spotted the hump forward of the conning tower, and Fyfe noted in his log that he had seen an I-class boat from his bridge, the Japanese boat was almost surely I-41. Various authorities have later theorized that the submarine might have been either one of two RO-class boats, but the RO boats had no such distinctive bulge.

Fyfe rigged a searchlight and searched for survivors and debris, but found neither. There was only a heavy stench of oil and a thick oil slick, but nothing more. Fyfe sensibly called off the search, realizing, as he wrote later in the ship’s log, “We were advertising ourselves needlessly and accomplishing little except ruining the night vision of the bridge personnel and probably drawing airplanes.”
The sinking was a substantial success, for the Japanese boat was almost surely inbound to Formosa from the Philippines, loaded with Japanese aviators or other VIPs, perhaps even bullion or other wealth destined for the imperial treasury. But Batfish was not finished.

The next day aircraft flew toward Batfish. They might have been friendly, although Fyfe was convinced the offending planes were using Japanese antisubmarine tactics. Batfish was still on the surface, and the appearance of the aircraft drove her under, spoiling Fyfe’s plans for a surface reconnaissance, losing the advantages of better speed and better visibility that surface cruising would have given his boat.

He came to periscope depth later in the morning, but again approaching aircraft made him dive, and this time they dropped a torpedo, which fortunately missed. It was, wrote Fyfe, “a tender moment, and if these actually prove to be blue planes [American] a most unfriendly act.” But he stayed on station, even though Japanese aircraft remained active deep into the night.

Fyfe’s persistence paid off again on the very next night, February 11. As Batfish surfaced to recharge her vital batteries, the APR again alerted the radar watch. Once more, something was out there in the night, its radar looking, searching, reaching out its long, probing fingers in the gloom. Batfish’s own radar picked up her target at about 8,000 yards.

RO-112 was on the Surface Again, Working Her Radar but Obviously Seeing Nothing on it. Her Blindness Would be Fatal.

On the conning tower, Batfish’s officers and lookouts strained to pierce the darkness ahead through their binoculars … and there she was, some 1,800 yards away, moving at only about seven knots but zigzagging. Fyfe went to battle stations and Batfish closed to 1,200 yards. At that range the American lookouts were sure. They were stalking a Japanese submarine, apparently somewhat smaller than their last victim.

It was RO-112, outbound from Formosa. Fyfe again had perfect weather for his attack, an overcast, moonless night, and he began his approach on the surface with rain squalls behind him, shielding his boat from the Japanese lookouts.

Before Fyfe could make his range and speed calculations and shoot, his quarry disappeared. He could not tell whether she had seen him on her radar or made visual contact, or whether she was simply making a routine dive. Either way, his disappointment was intense, and Fyfe wrote in his log that he blamed himself. “Signal on APR went off and target dove. Changed course to left and speeded up, in the meantime trying to reconcile myself to the fact that I had lost this one by trying to wait for the theoretically perfect set up.”

Then, only half an hour later, Batfish’s sonar equipment picked up the characteristic sounds of a submarine blowing its ballast tanks, the Japanese radar resumed operating, and RO-112 was on the surface again, working her radar but obviously seeing nothing on it. Her blindness would be fatal. This time Fyfe dove to radar depth at about 6,000 yards and was able to close the range to less than 900 yards. From that distance, at about 10 pm, he fired a spread of four torpedoes.

The blackness of the night erupted in a garish yellow fireball, and RO-112 was finished. As she began to sink, two more torpedoes exploded, detonated either by fragments of her hull or by the water turbulence caused by the first torpedo. Her death was spectacular, maybe a byproduct of a cargo of ammunition, for she was headed for the Philippines, where ammo was in short supply. As Fyfe wrote, “The target literally blew apart and sank almost immediately.”

Two more heavy explosions followed as RO-112 went down, capped by a third colossal blast and the sounds of escaping air and structural collapse. The Japanese boat was gone, and Batfish’s sonar men listened to the secondary explosions as she went down, and to the ghastly death rattle of a sinking vessel breaking up as she drifted into the terrible pressures of the great deep. Batfish could find no trace of her enemy left on the surface of the dark water, only a monstrous oil slick.

Two in a row. No American boat would surpass that record throughout the war, and only one other boat, USS Tautog, would even equal it. But only one night later, early on the morning of February 13, Batfish would break her own new record in spectacular fashion. Before another night was out, she would have a crack at still another submarine of the Imperial Navy.

The next night the faithful APR again warned the skipper and crew of Batfish. This time it was a little past midnight when the apparatus picked up hostile radar emissions far out in the night, almost 11,000 yards away. Although she could not pick up her enemy with her own surface radar, Batfish circled slowly, zeroing in on the Japanese signals with her own anti-air radar. Fyfe got a bearing on the Japanese transmission and followed it through the darkness.

And then, at about 2:15, Fyfe’s own radar picked up the target. This time it was RO-113, another of the Formosa boats, again bound for the Philippines to deliver supplies and ammunition and rescue critical Japanese personnel. Fyfe began his stalk.

As Batfish closed to about 7,000 yards, but before Fyfe could set up to shoot, the target dived as her sister had done during his last attack. Fyfe moved his boat to a position flanking the track of the Japanese submarine, ready to attack if she reappeared. Tension ran high in Batfish, for the crew knew that if the Japanese boat had spotted them she would have a good shot at the American hunter.

But then, more than an hour later, the quarry surfaced again some 9,600 yards away; this time Fyfe had time to close, compute, and fire. With only two torpedoes left forward, he swung his boat to bring the aft tubes to bear. Batfish’s crew had their hands full stabilizing the boat’s depth and bearing against a tidal rip, but Fyfe managed to fire three torpedoes from about 1,500 yards.

“I Knew Our Torpedo had Hit at Almost the Same Instant as the Lookouts Did.”

The first torpedo struck home, and his quarry disintegrated, blowing apart and slashing the night with a “large yellow ball of fire,” probably the result of a cargo of ammunition for the battered Japanese forces in the Philippines. The Japanese submarine was gone in 10 seconds, its image on the radar screen torn into “a wide diffusion of pips as the vessel went to pieces.” On the radio equipment, Callanan had been listening to the Japanese radar man “keying” his set, listening to the signal rising, then fading away. Callanan heard the Japanese apparatus quit abruptly, as if it had been cut off, and shouted, “We got him!”

“I knew our torpedo had hit,” he told this author, “at almost the same instant as the lookouts did.” Batfish closed in to the scene of the sinking and used her spotlight to look for survivors, without success. This time Captain Fyfe stayed in the area until daylight, hoping to recover something useful from his sunken foe. In the midst of a large oil slick, the crew recovered books and papers and a small wooden box about 14 inches square and about eight inches deep, a box that held Japanese navigation equipment, including navigation tables and a battery. From the contents of the box, Captain Fyfe learned something about his late opponent. “From the positions listed in the work book, it looks like this guy went from Nagoya to Formosa before he headed down to Luzon to join his ancestors.”

Batfish’s sixth war patrol had been spectacularly successful and would earn her crew the Presidential Unit Citation for “extraordinary heroism in action against enemy Japanese combatant forces.” Sometimes medal citations can err on the side of hyperbole, but in this case the Navy’s recognition of the crew’s “courage, superb seamanship and gallant fighting spirit” was right on the money. At the time of that sixth patrol, there were no more than four Japanese submarines in the waters around the Philippines. Batfish had sent three of them to the bottom.

No compliment rings truer or means more than a tribute from an enemy. The Japanese submarine force recognized courage and efficiency when they saw it. “American submarine crews were very well trained, skillful, and brave,” says Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Miwa, who commanded the Japanese undersea fleet. “We did not expect such skillfulness.”

Batfish had survived dozens of Japanese depth charges, hostile bombs and friendly ones, and the guns of a Q-ship. She had overcome grounding on a volcanic crest 240 feet below the surface when her chart said she had 400 feet of water beneath her keel. Now it was time for quieter days and nights, for rest. Her war over, Batfish was decommissioned in April 1946 and retired to the mothball fleet at Mare Island Navy Yard in California.

But then, with the increasing pressures of the Cold War, Batfish was sent back into harness, recommissioned in the spring of 1952. She served thereafter as a training boat, until she was finally decommissioned in November 1969. In February 1972, she moved to her final resting place in the warm sun of Oklahoma. Her old crewmen visit and remember other, perilous days. “After you’ve served in submarines,” said Tex Davis, “you’re not afraid of anything anymore.”

Batfish had retired from the sea, but she left a hardy heir. Attack submarine USS Batfish won herself well-deserved fame as the boat that shadowed a big Soviet Yankee-class missile submarine for almost 9,000 miles through all kinds of sea conditions. She surfaced for the first time 77 days later, still undetected by her quarry.

Altogether, American submarines sank 25 enemy boats in the Pacific, including two German U-boats. For a single submarine to sink three of the enemy is extraordinary and speaks volumes for the efficiency and drive of Batfish’s captain and crew. It is easy to attribute successes like these to luck, but it is also well to remember that Jake Fyfe and his crew not only managed to find three enemy boats, but efficiently stalked and killed all of them.

You cannot argue with three for three.


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Mice ‘cured’ of Parkinson’s in accidental scientific discovery

Alexandra Thompson June 29, 2020, 5:32 AM EDT

Mice were “cured” of Parkinson’s disease after a scientific study took an unexpected turn.

Scientists from the University of California (UC) in San Diego set out to better understand the role of proteins in connective cells, only to discover a way to transform many different types of cells into neurons.

Parkinson’s comes about when neurons – nerve cells – that produce the chemical messenger dopamine, which regulates movement, die off. Patients typically suffer tremors, slow movement and loss of balance when 80% of dopamine is lost.
The scientists used this discovery to develop a one-off treatment that eliminated Parkinson’s symptoms in mice, raising hopes of a cure down the line.
Existing treatments aim to ease signs of the disease and improve a patient’s quality of life, like via physiotherapy.
The study was carried out in mice, with the scientists warning there is a long way to go before the treatment can be tested on humans. ‘I was stunned at what I saw’

More than 145,000 people over 20 in the UK are thought to have been living with Parkinson’s in 2018. In the US, nearly 1 million people have the disease.
The UC scientists were studying a protein called PTB that turns genes “on or off” within cells.
In an attempt to better understand how PTB influences cell function, they silenced the protein in the connective tissue cell fibroblasts.
The fibroblasts were then grown in petri dishes to check for any changes.

A couple of weeks later, the scientists were surprised to find very few fibroblasts remained, having largely been replaced by neurons.
In a later experiment, published in the journal Nature, the team discovered brain cells called astrocytes also “turned” into neurons when PTB was silenced.
“Researchers around the world have tried many ways to generate neurones in the lab, using stem cells and other means, so we can study them better, as well as to use them to replace lost neurones in neurodegenerative diseases,” said lead author Dr Xiang-Dong Fu.
“The fact we could produce so many neurones in such a relatively easy way came as a big surprise”.

The scientists then turned their attention to Parkinson’s.
Rodents were exposed to a chemical that poisons dopamine-producing neurons, creating symptoms of the disease.
After silencing PTB, 30% of the mice’s astrocytes turned into nerve cells, reaching levels comparable to those in normal rodents.
These new neurons seemed to grow as normal and even sent connections to other parts of the brain.
When it came to symptoms, turning off PTB completely restored normal movement in the mice, with just one treatment lasting throughout their life.

“I was stunned at what I saw,” said co-author Dr William Mobley.
“This whole new strategy for treating neurodegeneration gives hope it may be possible to help even those with advanced disease”.
Professor David Dexter from Parkinson’s UK added: “Cell transplants have, for a long time, aimed to replace lost cells in Parkinson’s, but their effectiveness has been limited since they struggle to integrate and function effectively within the brain.
“This new technique has overcome this major hurdle in mice and opens the door to an exciting new treatment approach, which may be able to reverse Parkinson’s in people, in future.”

Although promising, much more rigorous testing is required before the approach can be tested in humans.
The scientists plan to silence PTB in mice with genetic changes that cause Parkinson’s-like symptoms, rather than the disease coming about via dopamine poisoning.
“Advances in technologies like this are vital and this is promising and well-conducted early-stage research, but it is in mice and it’s not yet clear whether this approach could be used in people,” said Dr Sara Imarisio from Alzheimer’s Research UK.
Neurons are also destroyed in Alzheimer’s disease.
“Further research will need to develop a better understanding of the potential adverse effects of converting these cells in this way before we can know whether this technique is even possible in a human brain,” said Dr Imarisio.

Professor Tara Spires-Jones from the University of Edinburgh added: “While the principle of this study is remarkable and promising, it is important to note that it was conducted in mice with group sizes from three to eight and there is a long way to go to translate this into a treatment for people.”
Nevertheless, the UC team has patented their treatment in the hope it could one day help patients.
“It’s my dream to see this through to clinical trials, to test this approach as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, but also many other diseases where neurones are lost, such as Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases and stroke,” said Dr Fu.
“Dreaming even bigger, what if we could target PTB to correct defects in other parts of the brain, to treat things like inherited brain defects?
“I intend to spend the rest of my career answering these questions.”

While it all sounds promising, medical research charities in the UK have warned “patients will suffer the consequences” unless they receive government support amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Findings like this do highlight the potential of medical research, but critical progress is at stake and it’s essential that dementia research is backed by the government throughout the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dr Imarisio.
COVID-19 is the respiratory disease that can be triggered by the coronavirus.

“Research is the only way we can end the fear, heartbreak and harm that diseases like Parkinson’s cause,” added Dr Imarisio.

Prior to the pandemic, Parkinson’s UK “knew” a major breakthrough and cure for the disease was “close”.
Instead, the charity has been forced to “fight for fair treatment and better services” for patients, who are more at risk of coronavirus complications.
To maintain this increased support, Parkinson’s UK must reportedly raise £95,000 ($118,872) a week for the next three months.


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Gale Halderman, Mustang Designer, Passes Away at the Age of 87

Designer of the original Ford Mustang, and member of the Mustang Hall of Fame, dies at the age of 87. Halderman worked 40 years at Ford Motor Company.




The Mustang World lost an Icon today, Gale Halderman, passed away this morning.
He was the main designer of the original Ford Mustang. It was his sketch that was chosen by Lee Iacocca to become the 1965 (1964 ½ if you will) Mustang. Just being known for that alone makes Gale a legend.

Recruited to Dearborn in 1954, designer Gale Halderman had helped shape the 1957 standard Ford before moving to the Corporate Advanced Studio, where he worked on ideas for a new low-cost sporty car favored by Ford division boss Lee Iacocca. As fate would have it, Halderman was transferred to the Ford Studio just in time to help Joe Oros' team create the design chosen for the production Mustang over proposals from Corporate Advanced and the Lincoln-Mercury Studio.

Oros credits Halderman not only for contributing to the design but also for skillfully guiding the Mustang from clay-model dream to realistic, fully producible car. Here is Halderman's account of the creation of the 1965 Ford Mustang prototype.

"I worked on a little electric-car proposal with Colin Neale and Alex Tremulis, who each did one side of a clay model. Elwood Engel said he liked both sides and wanted to do two full clays, which were then built in fiberglass. Lee Iacocca and Hal Sperlich came through and saw them. They said, "You know, they have flair and lots of excitement. Why don't we give the sporty-car package one more shot?

Those proposals encouraged them to reopen the design process for the car that became the Mustang. They had Ray Smith prepare a 2+2 package on the blackboard, and that's where the Mustang program started.

We did a design series called Median based on that package -- what the car would look like proportioned in different ways and with different engine options. We did maybe six. We were still searching for the right-sized car and package arrangement. They were good-looking cars, except I think none of them were exciting enough.

About that time, I was transferred to the Ford studio again. They were just starting work on the '65 full-size Ford and I was assigned to work on it with Joe Oros. But one day Joe said, "We've just been told by Bordinat to do a proposal for a small car that Lee wants to build." I told Joe, "I won't have time. I'm doing the '65 Ford." He told me I had to give him some designs. So I went home and sketched. I took about five or six sketches with me the next morning and put them up on the board. Joe picked one of those to be clay-modeled."

Dave Ash had already done a clay -- very boxy, very stiff-looking. Joe came back from a management conference and said, "No, no, no, we're not going to do that!" That's when he said he wanted me to submit some designs. So we actually started over on the clay model using the theme from one of my designs, which had scoops on the sides and the hop-up quarter lines. The front end was primarily designed afterward.



We built the clay model in our Corporate Advanced Studio. George Schumaker was assigned to follow my sketch into the full-sized clay model. I was still working on the big '65 Ford across the hall, but during the day I kept going over to where the Mustang clay was to help interpret my sketch. Then Joe got me in there working on the taillamps and rear end while he and Charlie Phaneuf did the front end."




Halderman Barn Museum
After retirement, Gale turned his family barn and property into a museum dedicated to car design. Gale, being the humble human being he was, didn’t center the museum around his career and his accomplishments, even though that’s certainly worthy of a museum. Rather, the Halderman Barn Museum was turned into a homage to all things car design.

With a few Mustangs and other Ford vehicles inside the museum the primary focus is on the walls which have sketches, designs and concepts that Gale collected throughout his illustrious career. Many were from designers that Gale helped hire or that Gale found to be very talented.




(Compiled from various sources.)


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Hasn’t 2020 had enough? July will be so hot, it is ‘potentially historic,’ experts say

Maddie Capron
Miami HeraldJune 30, 2020


Hasn’t 2020 had enough? July will be so hot, it is ‘potentially historic,’ experts say


If you thought 2020 was out of curveballs to throw, how about a potentially historic heatwave?
The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center said Tuesday that July could see record-breaking heat in most of the country.

“Our final outlook for July 2020 sees increased chances for above-normal temperatures across much of the country,” NWS said.
The month’s weather will be unusually hot and “potentially historic,” Todd Crawford, chief meteorologist for Weather Co., told The Washington Post.
July could be a good time for outdoor activities, though, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Rainfall will be below normal in much of the country, including the Northeast, Great Lakes, Midwest, High Plains, Desert Southwest and Pacific Northwest.
The Weather Channel reported that much of the Midwest and Great Lakes will have highs that are “several degrees warmer than average” during July. Parts of the West Coast, Rockies and South will also have above-average temperatures, according to The Weather Channel.

“While there will be breaks in the heat, it appears that these breaks will be short-lived, especially in the country’s northern tier,” The Weather Channel reported.



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