More Junkmail from Bob!

Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Important Stuff.

A Blast from the Past

On June 30, 1908, there was a big bang over Tunguska, Siberia, which is here:


William K. Hartmann ( describes it pretty well. "Seismic vibrations were recorded by sensitive instruments as much as 1000 km (600 mi) away. At 500 km (300 mi), observers reported "deafening bangs" and a fiery cloud on the horizon. About 170 km (110 mi) from the explosion, the object was seen in the cloudless, daytime sky as a brilliant, sunlike fireball; thunderous noises were heard. At distances around 60 km, people were thrown to the ground or even knocked unconscious; windows were broken and crockery knocked off shelves. Probably the closest observers were some reindeer herders asleep in their tents in several camps about 30 km (20 mi) from the site. They were blown into the air and knocked unconscious; one man blown into a tree later died. "Everything around was shrouded in smoke and fog from the burning fallen trees."

It was a meteor that came flying in and exploded in the air. It was probably an asteroid, but possibly a comet. It was probably a low-density rock about 150 in diameter. It exploded from the shock of smashing into the atmosphere at high speed.

The reason I looked this up is that the other day on The Learning Channel, they said about the explosion, "Everything within a 1000 mile radius was incinerated." That makes a sensational story, but the radius that caught on fire was really around 100 times smaller.

Here's a picture from 1938, 30 years later.


More information:

Crazy Ants!

Crazy ants are attacking Christmas Island crabs.


I ran across a neat program that lets you preview your email before you check your email and bounce the ones you don't like. Mailwasher ( automatically tags most of the blatant spam messages and tags them to be bounced. You can also select any message to bounce or delete. Then you run your email program (Outlook or whatever) check your mail normally.

You can configure it to bounce email from certain people, domains, etc., or you can add a filter to select things like "More Junkmail from Bob" in the subject and automatically delete the message.

When Mailwasher bounces a message, it makes a fake mail server message that says "User unknown" and returns it to the sender. I haven't used it long enough to know whether they'll remove me from their lists.

Trust Bill

Should anybody pay attention to those Microsoft School contracts? Maybe. In Portland, Oregon, Microsoft gave the public schools 60 days to conduct an "software audit" of every one of their 25,000 or so computers and verify that each Microsoft product on each computer has been licensed correctly. And by the way, they can skip the audit if they agree to sign up with Microsoft's new contract for the low, low price of half a million dollars. Details.

Weller Control

If you own a gun in Canada, even if you're just passing through, you have to register it by 2003. So guy named Brian in Manitoba registered his soldering gun and his heat gun. His registration with through, with Weller and Black & Decker as the manufacturers. Gun types are "soldering" and "heat."

Here are some more interesting articles that I'm too lazy to write about.

Almost VLCC

I flew the Aircam to the Sun-n-Fun fly-in at Lakeland, Florida. I took the scenic route.

On the way I decided I'd try to find a supertanker, since I've never seen one. I figured the ocean would be a good place to look. But there is a lot of ocean, so I looked on the internet instead. I ran across the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, 18 miles out in the ocean south of Grande Isle, about 75 miles south of New Orleans.

I flew there in search of a supertanker. On the way there were refineries, offshore oil rigs, and lots of neat stuff.


Here's an oil rig under construction. The helicopter gives you an idea of its size.

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Here's a complete oil rig. This is one of the bigger ones I saw.


And after what seemed like a long time over the ocean, I found the Offshore Oil Port. It doesn't look much different from an oil rig.

        IMG_2684.jpg      IMG_2683.jpg

There are 6 or 8 parking places like this.

        IMG_2685.jpg      IMG_2687.jpg

There was a small 800-foot long boat parked at one of them.

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Notice the 4 flights of stairs it takes to get to the "bridge." That's BIG.

        IMG_2696.jpg      IMG_2700.jpg

This ship is 800 feet long and 130 feet wide, but it's still not big enough to be considered a supertanker, or very large crude carrier (VLCC). Supertankers are typically 25% longer, 25% wider, and 2-3 times heavier than this one.

Doolittle Raiders

60 years ago last week, 16 B-25 bombers took off an aircraft carrier and bombed Tokyo. They didn't do significant damage, but it was the first major success of the U.S. against Japan in World War II.

The people in the raid were known as Doolittle Raiders, after Jimmy Doolittle, their commander. Last week I flew into the Columbia, SC Owens airport. I was surprised to find several B25's and some other WWII planes. There were TV and radio people there, and some important-looking people too. I fit right in with the Aircam.

  IMG_2946.jpg      IMG_2938.jpg      IMG_2942.jpg

It was the Doolittle Raiders reunion. The people who flew in that attack still living get together once a year. It's possible that this was the last reunion. Mr. DeShazer was one of the 8 people captured by the Japanese. Four of those eight lived through the war.


I wondered if Japan also honors its heroes from the War.

Blue Angels

A little farther down the "road" in Tupelo, Mississippi, the Blue Angels were practicing for a weekend airshow.

Pictures of Today... lots of 'em!

After the war of 1812, the U.S. decided to do something like the Strategic Defense Initiative and built a bunch of coastal forts from Texas to Maine. Here are a few I ran across from Louisiana to South Carolina. I think most of them are from that period, but the one in St. Augustine was built a lot earlier. The forts became pretty much obsolete by the late 1800's.

Lighthouses also grow along the coast. Here are some lighthouse pictures.

Here are some more pictures from between Oklahoma and the Atlantic.

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