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Monday Morning Smile LXIV – Holy Bat Bomb Batman


bat

The witches, goblins, zombies, and other assorted politicians revellers are about to resurrect  for the festival of horrors. Of course I refer to Halloween (not the House of Commons senate debate).

Now bats have always had a special place in the annuls of All-Hallows-Eve. Creatures of the night, they navigate by sound and stealth and, well, they just look kind of creepy.

So how much do we know about bats? Everyone knows that bat’seyesight is poor, and they use sound (sonar) to flit around at night. Did you know they can carry two to three times their weight when they fly? Interesting, but who cares, you might say. I’ve eaten BBQ chicken wings bigger than the average bat.

Well, a smart fellow named Lytle S. Adams, a dentist in the early 1940’s thought that bats would make better bombs. What?!

Toji-temple-kyoto

You can’t make this stuff up..In the early 1940’s the U.S. military had Project X-Ray under development. Get this…. trap millions of bats and glue small bombs to their backs. These bats would be put into a state of induced hibernation in a specially constructed “Bat bomb”. The small incendiary bombs glued to the back of each bat works on a timed release.

bat-bomb-shell  Bat Bomb. Photos. No page number.

omizutori_festivalThe bomb was to be released over Tokyo. The bats would wake up, get their bearings and find small nooks and crannies to hide with the light of morning. Each small bomb would go off creating thousands and thousands of fires in the city. Given Tokyo homes and buildings in the 40’s were chiefly made from Bamboo, wood, and other flammables, it would go up thousands of fires. Plus the Japanese people would never know what caused it.

Absolutely crazy. So did it work?

Tests showed that is was significantly more effective than conventional bombs (if by effective you mean create more destruction).

Carlsbad_AAF_Fire_after_Bat_Bomb_Accident

However, the bats were never deployed to Japan – or anywhere else for that matter.

The U.S. military machine had come up with an even better weapon – the atom bomb. They used that instead.

Here are some other cool Halloween and Bat facts….

Halloween – traditionally the day before All Saints Day. A day for little cuties to dress up and collect candy, and for young men and women to dress up and do things they never would otherwise.

Saying: Blind as a bat – for obvious reasons. Bat eyesight is very poor.

Batman moviesthe series of movies has grossed over $3.7 billion and is one of the most watched series of movies of all time. (Pirates of the Caribean, and James Bond also up in the running)

batmanDark_knight_rises_poster

SamBat baseball bats – made in Canada with hard Canadian maple. These bats are favoured by a large number of major league players.

sambat

Bat boy –  a kid that collect bats from a baseball field.

little boyLittle Boy and Fat Man – the names given the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

dilbert halloween

Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31

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Monday Morning Smile LXIII – Short skirts? Get Rich.


Fashion-Timeline-History-of-Womens-Dress-and-Styles-1900-to-1969

Another fabulous fall weekend. A bit rainy on Saturday, but all in all a great one. My son and I took in an Ottawa Senators game on the weekend – a bit of a father son jaunt to the nation’s capitol. A boys weekend of lying around a hotel watchin’ TV, going to a hockey game, eating pizza, takin’ in a flick at the cinema, and generally stuffing our face full of food that is clearly not good for us. It doesn’t get any better.

There are some things that everyone likes to do, whether we like to admit it or not. We all would like to make a little more of the moolah, and we alike to people watch.

Now men have watched women since Eve took the apple, and women have watched women for as long as Jimmy Choo has been designing killer high heels. What have the two got to do with eat other?

Welcome to the Hemline Index.

This was originally outlined in 1926 by a famous economist named George Taylor. He surmised that the stock market and women’s hemlines moved together. Huh?

The higher the hemline, the better the stock market. The 60’s were a great example. The mini-skirt was invented and the stock market was on fire!

So let’s take a walk down Stock Market history ……

Let’s hear it for the “Roaring Twenties” – when dresses were short, and profits were high.

flappers

Followed by the Great Depression, known as the “Dirty Thirties” where only the bread lines were longer than the hemlines.

1930shemlines fashion 1930s

We will skip past the war years into the “Fabulous Fifties” and the “Swinging Sixties”. I think you will agree that the invention of the mini-skirt did more for the Stock Market than all those new fangled Finance formulas put together!

fashion 1965

Ah, we all wish we could be part of those fabulous 60’s. But charge on we must.

But on to 1975. Disco! The first Computer game – called Pong!

The energy crisis. Inflation surges, stock markets plunge, interest rates are at ridiculous levels. And how much leg can you see? Not much.

fashion 19751975 fashion

Do things get better? They always do. We’ll fast forward through the recession of the early 80’s, and on into one of the longest bull runs in stock market history starting in the 1990’s.

I had a lot of trouble with getting pictures…most of them were supermodels in bikinis (but please google at home!). The stock market must have been soaring!

But here’s one of Princess Diana showing off the royal legs….

1995 diana

So enough history….

It’s now 2013? Do I invest or cash out?

New-York-Fashion-Week-Spring-2013-Trends

dilbert fashion


Monday Morning Smile LXII – Who blew up Bikini?


Nuclear-explosion-Bikini--003

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What a great long weekend. A little ham, a little turkey, a little  pumpkin pie, and a lot of family. Can it get any better? We are very lucky indeed.

I’m not sure how this subject came up, but it did. The bikini. A little (very little) bit of cloth that created an enormous industry. And not just the swim suit fashion industry. But the tanning industry, the “ab industry”, workout videos, fitness gyms, etc, etc.. Heck, even the illustrious Sports Illustrated is best known for pictures of girls with a swim suit (that is even not meant for swimming). (don’t tell but I even heard that there are pictures on the internet of women in bikinis – who would have thought!)

So what’s up with the Bikini? Well, the bikini owes its name to a massive nuclear blast in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Say What ?!

scary-beach-bikini-atoll

A Frenchman  named Louis Reard came up with the new racy swimsuit in 1946. He knew it would take the world by storm. After all, it showed a woman’s navel for the first time! Mon Dieu!  However, being the socially conscious person he was, he wanted to bring attention to the fact the U.S. government was conducting massive nuclear tests in the middle of the Pacific.  Guess where? Yep. The Bikini Atoll, which is an island (an atoll actually) halfway between Hawaii and Australia.

29-bikini Worlds-First-Bikini-From-1946-2

Detonated under the ocean’s surface, the bomb nicknamed “Baker” drove a 2,000-foot-wide column of water high into the sky in less than a second. A few moments later, millions of tons of atomized reef and water collapsed back into the lagoon, and a giant shock wave moved out across the water, sinking a 26,000-ton, 562-foot battleship (put there for the test) and lifting the stern of another 880-foot battleship 43 feet into the air. The shock wave released massive amounts of radiation, a phenomenon that was not widely understood at the time. Nuclear tests continued through the 1950’s.

scary-beach-bikini-atoll

In the mid 1940’s the U.S. government relocated all the Bikinians (about 5000 of them) to other islands so they could conduct the test. Today, there are 5 people on the island, employees tracking residual radiation levels. The U.S. continues to pay the descendants of the original islanders through a trust fund.

Now it is my hope that the Bikini swim suit outlasts the nuclear bombs that made the name famous.

(Please find a gratuitous shot of bikinis here).

beach-girls

dilbert nuclear

p.s. a couple of interesting side notes….

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that encircles a lagoon.

Louis Reard, the bikini designer,  was a mechanical engineer – my how times have changed.

The small box in the right hand of the model is the box the swimsuit came in 9look in the picture above).

The half life of the radiation is not as long as originally thought. Originally the half life was estimated in the laboratory at 37 years. In the environment the half life is estimated at only 9 years. This means the destroyed areas become inhabitable quicker than originally thought. (although still a very, very, long time. Maybe 75 years rather than 200 years).

bikini atoll map

Nuclear-explosion-Bikini--003