November 2010 Archives

WTF? How do you explain this image?

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Google Street View's German launch has truly been like no other.

Germany is not like Brazil, where Street View seemed to unearth more dead bodies on sidewalks than can be seen in the whole repertoire of "Law and Order."

For Germany's bodies are alive with mystery. And no mystery can surely be greater than the one that appeared and has, at least temporarily, disappeared at Zwerchgasse 39 in Mannheim, Germany.

The image, which was captured by the German newspaper Der Spiegel, offers a story. The only question is: What story?

It seems to show a naked man getting out of the trunk of a car. A dog is lying in the driveway, either asleep or permanently with the angels. A broken umbrella seems to be lying near the dog.

What could all this mean?

My own view is that the greatest importance lies in what is in the yellow bottle near the car. Could it be cleaning fluid? Might something suspicious have been inside the trunk of the car? Might the man have been cleaning it out? Might he have been cleaning out a dead body? A dead body of a dog, perhaps?

If it isn't cleaning fluid, what is it? Might it have been used to poison the dog or at least to send it to sleep while its owner bravely removed a dead body from the trunk in the full joy of daylight?

The intrigue here seems endless. Might he not be naked at all? There is a chance that somewhere in there resides some shorts about his person. Might he himself have been kidnapped and shoved in that trunk, with the assailants scarpering when they saw the might of the Street View car turn the corner?

On the other hand, could this all have been staged by another German with a sense of the absurd? While almost 3 percent of Germans decided to blur out their properties on Street View, others, at least to my wicked sentiment, decided to have fun with the whole escapade.

First, there was the tenant who happened to enjoy the same office building as Google in Munich. This tenant requested that the building should be blurred. Which meant that Google had to comply with blurring its own offices.

Might this seemingly naked man in the trunk of a soft-top have a soft spot for amusing the world with an unsolvable tale of intrigue?

Google has removed this shot and says on the Street View site that it is "under review."

So one waits with cross-legged anticipation to find out whether something exciting, dangerous, or possibly even criminal might have been happening here. Or whether this was really just a (possibly) naked guy cleaning the junk in his trunk.



Read more: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20023487-71.html#ixzz15rNYbVkk

Signal Peak, California

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..the last legal ride before the USFS closed the trail. WTF?

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Chinese Submarine

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Note: How has our military (US Navy) come to this? Quite embarrassing and dangerous!
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The uninvited guest: Chinese sub pops up in middle of U.S. Navy exercise, leaving military chiefs red-faced

By MATTHEW HICKLEY

Original Story


When the U.S. Navy deploys a battle fleet on exercises, it takes the security of its aircraft carriers very seriously indeed.

At least a dozen warships provide a physical guard while the technical wizardry of the world's only military superpower offers an invisible shield to detect and deter any intruders.

That is the theory. Or, rather, was the theory.

Scroll down for more ...

Song Class submarine

Uninvited guest: A Chinese Song Class submarine, like the one that sufaced by the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk

American military chiefs have been left dumbstruck by an undetected Chinese submarine popping up at the heart of a recent Pacific exercise and close to the vast U.S.S. Kitty Hawk - a 1,000ft supercarrier with 4,500 personnel on board.

By the time it surfaced the 160ft Song Class diesel-electric attack submarine is understood to have sailed within viable range for launching torpedoes or missiles at the carrier.

According to senior Nato officials the incident caused consternation in the U.S. Navy.

The Americans had no idea China's fast-growing submarine fleet had reached such a level of sophistication, or that it posed such a threat.

One Nato figure said the effect was "as big a shock as the Russians launching Sputnik" - a reference to the Soviet Union's first orbiting satellite in 1957 which marked the start of the space age.

The incident, which took place in the ocean between southern Japan and Taiwan, is a major embarrassment for the Pentagon.

Scroll down for more ...

Kitty Hawk

Battle stations: The Kitty Hawk carries 4,500 personnel

The lone Chinese vessel slipped past at least a dozen other American warships which were supposed to protect the carrier from hostile aircraft or submarines.

And the rest of the costly defensive screen, which usually includes at least two U.S. submarines, was also apparently unable to detect it.

According to the Nato source, the encounter has forced a serious re-think of American and Nato naval strategy as commanders reconsider the level of threat from potentially hostile Chinese submarines.

It also led to tense diplomatic exchanges, with shaken American diplomats demanding to know why the submarine was "shadowing" the U.S. fleet while Beijing pleaded ignorance and dismissed the affair as coincidence.

Analysts believe Beijing was sending a message to America and the West demonstrating its rapidly-growing military capability to threaten foreign powers which try to interfere in its "backyard".

The People's Liberation Army Navy's submarine fleet includes at least two nuclear-missile launching vessels.

Its 13 Song Class submarines are extremely quiet and difficult to detect when running on electric motors.

Commodore Stephen Saunders, editor of Jane's Fighting Ships, and a former Royal Navy anti-submarine specialist, said the U.S. had paid relatively little attention to this form of warfare since the end of the Cold War.

He said: "It was certainly a wake-up call for the Americans.

"It would tie in with what we see the Chinese trying to do, which appears to be to deter the Americans from interfering or operating in their backyard, particularly in relation to Taiwan."

In January China carried a successful missile test, shooting down a satellite in orbit for the first time.






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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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