Another two-week gap, and this time, I’m writing it on Tuesday night so I don’t run out of time tomorrow.
- Is it spread by large respiratory droplets or aerosols? – Ars Technica reviews the evidence, and answers in correspondence with the best scientific evidence available right now: a big fat shrug.
- Some areas of NYC may have herd immunity – Given the speed at which it tore through New York in the early days, I buy it.
- Today’s coronavirus numbers by state and geographical region – Arizona is bad now, but past its peak, and looks like it’s going to peak at fewer deaths than New York at its worst.
- Do antibody tests really detect COVID immunity? – The human immune system is almost ludicrously complicated, and not particularly well understood. (Try Netflix-hosted anime Cells at Work for a cutesy take on it.)
- Some COVID vaccines have potentially-serious side effects – Which isn’t too terribly surprising. Bit of a rush job and all.
- Inside China’s gulags – A story from a Xinjiang Uyghur. (I almost spelled that right on the first try.) It is worth the time to read.
- Massive flooding in central China
- Three Gorges Dam ‘deforms slightly’, per China – China also says all is well. It isn’t that I don’t believe them, but…
- Navy to equip seven more ships with contrived-acronym laser system – ODIN.
- High-film-speed shots of a Shipwreck launch
- Bonhomme Richard burns – Fun fact: per our favorite naval affairs commentator CDR Salamander, the thing oft misquoted as ‘drywall’ in the press is actually ‘triwall’: heavy-duty three-layer corrugated cardboard product.
- French forces deploy to Lithuania – France: NATO’s MVP in Europe, 2010s-2020s? It’s certainly not Germany anymore.
- US rejects the nine-dash line – This is the kind of hawkish move that I don’t think we’d see under any sort of ordinary presidential administration.
- More on the above, in which Sec. Pompeo calls China a bully
- India likes the SIG 716i – Good for SIG; I suspect they’re going to have to pay out over the latest P320 safety oopsie.
- Big Army patents a new M4 heavy barrel design
- Large fire breaks out at Iranian shipyard – Perhaps they’re jealous of all the coverage the Bonhomme Richard fire is getting? Or maybe it’s the precursor to an alien attack.
- SoKor, having just bought some AEW&C planes, starts a search for new ones – Not wasting any time, certainly. They also just launched a communications satellite the other day, transport provided by SpaceX. (SpaceX refurbished the rocket in 51 days, minus a week or two for the barge to slowly putter back into its position out at sea, and stuck the landing again.)
- India, faced with provocation in the Himalayas from China, moves toward buying Sprut-SDs – China has a light tank. India discovered that its T-72s, T-72+s, and T-72+++s are not great in the mountains. India goes to World Armaments Mart-ski to play catch-up.
- India among the candidates for F-15EXports – Israel, too.
- PLAAF pilots speak English in the cockpit? – That’s what this video released by China seems to suggest.
- Golden Horde networked swarming munitions to begin USAF flight testing – Also, the Gray Wolf mini-cruise missile did some flight testing. ‘Golden Horde’ seems like a carefully-chosen name: a branch of a traditional anti-China baddie that never actually invaded China.
- Aping SoKor, RAF wants a better radar for the Eurofighter now that the Captor-E is available
- UK tech used in hybrid Bradley trials
- Big Army research lab develops smuzzle bressor – A muzzle brake/suppressor combo, which is impressive, given that the two things have widely divergent design requirements.
- Vietnam’s new AK-based service rifles look pretty cool
- Big Army wants to compete in the OMFV contest – Industry is, quoth Janes, “unnerved”. Frankly, I’m in favor of the armed services owning their designs, rather than farming them out to contractors.
Science and Technology
- At the dear old alma mater, scientists develop a catalyst used in processing seawater into fuel – The catalyst turns carbon dioxide into carbon monoxide, a crucial step in the process. If you want to read more on the process, you can probably start your search from here: “In 2014, a Naval Research Laboratory team led by Heather Willauer announced it had used a catalytic converter to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and then converted the gases into liquid hydrocarbons at a 92 percent efficiency rate.”
- Moore’s Law is not dead – It’s a presentation video and parvusimperator’s link, so I can’t tell you quite what the thrust of the talk is.
- Ceramic spheres in aluminum foam: light-weight, cut-proof – The ceramic spheres create vibrations in power tools attacking it. It breaks an angle grinder before the angle grinder can cut through.
- A train sim that’s actually hard? – In a 2016 article (holy cow, has it been that long?), I perhaps snidely referred to games in the transport simulator genre as ‘podcast screensavers‘. I also slagged off Train Simulator and its fans as ridiculously easy and bad at games, respectively. So, when Flare Path chieftain Tim Stone said, “This train simulator is hard” (albeit in more words), my ears perked up. Not so much that I’ve bought the game yet, but nevertheless, it’s on my radar now.
- Can a Formula 1 car actually drive upside-down? – Unfortunately, building a test track for this in real life is still not feasible, so we have to settle for simulator runs.
- NYC Transit chief says the MTA has no org chart, and doesn’t know how many employees it has – “Some MTA sources said an org chart might further complicate the agency because so much of its work runs on personal relationships.” Yes, such as the personal relationship where you get paid for not doing any work because you know a guy.
- Put down your Clausewitz, pick up your Pratchett – I won’t speak ill of Clausewitz, but I’ll certainly speak well of Sir Pterry.
- American suppressor manufacturers can now export their wares – One place where ‘buy American’ still means ‘buy super-ultra-premium’. Stupid tax stamps.
- We know nothing of our history, past a certain point – There’s a growing body of evidence pointing toward maritime trade in the Mediterranean… five thousand years ago.
- Some Stoeger-approved competition dry fire drills – I think I’m going to start running these.