David Knights' Weblog

April 6, 2020

Wow, that is old

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:49 am
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A nearly 400 year old shark.  That is pretty amazing.

March 18, 2020

Wild story of the day

Filed under: General — dknights @ 1:36 pm
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A hard hat dropped into the Mississippi river in 2015 is found on a beach in Ireland in 2020.  We all know waters circulate, but it is amazing to think how far and wide they travel.

Wuhan Flu

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:24 am
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I know we are all over-saturated with information regarding the Wuhan Flu. This analysis is very interesting.  The sample may be to small to be statistically significant, but it may indicate that things aren’t as bad as they might seem.

March 2, 2020

Russian aircraft and helicopter losses in Syria

Filed under: General — dknights @ 4:56 am
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This is fascinating.  Given Russian budgetary problems these losses have to be hurting.

February 21, 2020

Movie review: The Lion in Winter (1968)

Filed under: General — dknights @ 10:00 am
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The Turner Classic Movie channel is one of the best channels on DirectTV.  The only bad thing about it is watching the movies on that channel will quickly make you realize what crap movies and crap actors we have in Hollywood today. The Lion in Winter is the story of an aging King Henry II in 1183. He has 3 sons. He has imprisoned his wife, the queen (who is also the former queen of France) and is having an affair with his ward, a French princess, who was sent over as a child to be the wife of his eldest surviving son Richard. Henry wants to bypass his eldest Richard for the title of the next King in favor of his youngest son, John. (BTW, in actual history Richard is later to become Richard the Lionhearted and John is evil King John of Robin Hood fame.) The queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, favors her eldest son Richard.  Eleanor and Henry are locked in a love/hate relationship and use every weapon at hand to hurt each other.  In fact, in many ways the question of who gets to be the next King doesn’t much seem to matter to either except in the fact that each chooses in opposition to the other out of spite.

The movie is phenomenal.  Peter O’Toole is amazing as Henry and Katharine Hepburn is great as Eleanor.  I did not realize that at the time of the movie, Hepburn was 25 years older than O’Toole. Anthony Hopkins plays Richard in one of his first movie roles. The dialogue is sharp and the interplay between Henry and Eleanor, switching between spite and love and back again is fantastic.  The film was nominated for 8 academy awards and won 3.  If you haven’t seen it, you should definitely add it to your must watch list. 5 stars.

February 19, 2020

Coronavirus

Filed under: General — dknights @ 9:45 am
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I haven’t said anything in regard to this, as many of the initial news stories seemed over-hyped. However, it appears it may be as deadly as the Spanish flu, and if so, that really could result in a massive death toll, especially in less well developed countries.  While anecdotal, this story sure seems worrying.

February 14, 2020

I did not know this

Filed under: General,Technology — dknights @ 10:36 am
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Story here.  I didn’t know that the British dumped the ordinance there.  I would have thought they’d have taken it to a deeper part of the ocean.

February 13, 2020

Movie review: T-34 (2018)

Filed under: General,Modeling — dknights @ 6:57 am
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T-34 is a Russian war movie about a Russian tank commander and his crew who put up a valiant defense in front of Moscow in December 1941. After defeating a number of German PzIIIs, their tank is knocked out and captured. In late 1944 the tank commander is pulled from the POW camp along with other tank crew members and forced to operate a captured T-34 in training against German tanks at a tank training center in eastern Germany.  Unbeknownst to the Germans, the Russians locate several tank main gun shells in the Russian tank and use those to escape, in the process taking with them the female Russian prisoner who is a translator for the German guards who helps them in their escape.

Putting aside the slightly silly story, this movie is good.  Really very enjoyable and not just for the Russian and German military equipment.  It is a classic action/war movie and could easily have been made in Hollywood instead of in Russian.  Much of the equipment is actual period equipment, or very realistic mock ups. (Much better than M-48s as Tiger tanks in Battle of the Bulge.)  The acting is very good and equivalent to most B-list actors out of Hollywood.  I watched a dubbed version and it was entertaining to see how the dubbed dialogue differed from the subtitles which were more direct translations of the Russian dialogue.

According to Wikipedia, this is the second highest grossing Russian film of all time. In additional to being available on DVD, it is also available for streaming on Amazon Prime.  It is well worth watching. 4 out of 5 stars.

February 10, 2020

Apologies

Filed under: General — dknights @ 11:23 am
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I’ve missed posting a couple of days this past week.  I’ve been juggling a number of things, so posting just slipped by.  I will try to do better.

February 8, 2020

And now for something completely different

Filed under: General — dknights @ 5:07 pm
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I freaking love these.

 

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