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22 Sep 1914 - German U-boat devastates British squadron, sinking three cruisers in one hour

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In the North Sea on September 22, 1914, the German submarine U-9 sinks three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue and the Cressy, in just over one hour.
In the first two months of war, the German High Seas Fleet made little effort to move from its headquarters in Wilhelmshaven. The one naval battle, fought at Heligoland Bight in late August, ended in a convincing British victory, with three German battleships sunk, three more damaged and 1,200 German sailors killed or wounded.

In the wake of Heligoland Bight, Kaiser Wilhelm and the German leadership concluded that the navy should be kept off the open seas, as its best use was as a defensive weapon. As the war continued, Germany’s greatest weapon at sea would not be its light cruisers but its lethal U-boat submarine, which was far more sophisticated than those built by other nations at that time. The typical U-boat was 214 feet long, carried 35 men and 12 torpedoes and could travel underwater for two hours at a time.

The one-sided battle on September 22, which claimed three British cruisers and the lives of 1,400 sailors, alerted the British to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine, which had been generally unrecognized up to that time. In the first few years of World War I, German U-boats took a terrible toll on Allied shipping. By 1917, however, the continued unrestricted U-boat attacks on American vessels traveling to Britain prompted the previously neutral United States to declare war on Germany. The infusion of American ships, troops and arms into World War I, as well as the economic support the U.S. supplied to the Allied powers, would eventually turn the tide of the war against Germany.  read more »

"heal our planet" 82-year-old Roman Catholic nun wants to transform a project which cost more than 7.2 trillion dollars

Sister Megan Rice, 82, is one of three people arrested in a break-in at a nuclear complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn

’non-nuclear nun’ - Sister Megan Rice, Michael R. Walli, left, and Gregory I. Boertje-Obed, infiltrated a nuclear weapons site

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She has been arrested 40 or 50 times for acts of civil disobedience and once served six months in prison. In the Nevada desert, she and others knelt down to block a truck rumbling across the government’s nuclear test site, prompting the authorities to take her into custody.

Now, Sister Megan Rice, 82, a Roman Catholic nun of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, and two male companions have carried out what nuclear experts call the biggest security breach in the history of the nation’s atomic complex, making their way to the inner sanctum of the site where the United States keeps crucial nuclear bomb parts and fuel.

“Deadly force is authorized,” signs there read. “Halt!” Images of skulls emphasize the lethal danger. With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three defied barbed wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant encircled by enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.

“Swords into plowshares,” read one, quoting the Book of Isaiah. “Spears into pruning hooks.” The plant holds the nation’s main supply of highly enriched uranium, enough for thousands of nuclear weapons.  read more »

Germany says no to Iraq war, no to Libya war, but takes lead in wind and solar, turning renewable energy vision into reality

left: Germany leading world in solar power; right: French fighter planes soar over Libya
Choice for mankind sharing one planet - where to spend big? To make our only Earth greener, or grayer?

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Upper left: Germany Launched "5M" wind turbine, which is designed and built by Germany's REpower Company.
Center left: Germany has considerably increased the number of windfarms on off-shore locations.
Lower left: For the first time in the Solar Decathlon, a home that has produced twice the amount of energy as it used, won the first prize. And it did so in a very unusual way.
Upper right: French fighter jets soared over Libya.

Center right: French Mirage 2000 jet fighters are lined up awaiting a mission to Libya, at Solenzara 126 Air Base, Corsica island, France.
Lower right: Smoke billows as seven explosions rocked the Libyan capital Tripoli earlier this week. New air strikes have reportedly claimed at least 40 civilians.

Renewable Energy is a Reality and not a Vision. Germany gains more energy from solar technology than Japan gains from all its nuclear reactors. Development in this area occurred much faster in the last years than many expected. Ten years ago no one would have believed we could gain 17 percent of our electricity supply from renewable energy.

“RENEWABLE ENERGY IS A REALITY AND NOT A VISION”  read more »

Aug 15'45: V-J Day but Korea divided; Aug 15'10: US-S Korea military drills..Korea-South-North tension increased

Victory over Japan Day, WWII ends, celebrating peace
Top: 15 August 1945. American servicemen and women gather in front of "Rainbow Corner" Red Cross club in Paris to celebrate the unconditional surrender of the Japanese. Bottom: 14 August 1945. Residents of Oak Ridge (one of the three main sites of the Manhattan Project), TN, fill Jackson Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan.

Japanese surrender ceremonies on USS Missouri, September 1945
Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945: Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri (BB-63) during the surrender ceremonies. Standing in front are: Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu (wearing top hat) and General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff.

U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea
The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington leaves for joint naval and air drills with South Korea at a naval port in Busan, South Korea, July 25, 2010. South Korea and the United States on Sunday began their large-scale joint military drills off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula as scheduled.

South Korea has launched its biggest-ever anti-submarine exercises despite warnings from the North
Tensions between North and South Korea are boiling.  read more »

Top 5 arms exporters: who feels secure? Weapons piling up, enough to blow up Earth many times over rather than defend it

Top L: US President Barack Obama and South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak; Bottom R: U.S. Air Force C-17A Globemaster III
The United States of America remains the largest exporter of conventional weapons in the world, according to the latest study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The U.S account for 30% of global arms sales, or about $7 billion per year, for the period 2005-2009, SIPRI statement says. From 2005 to 2009, the U.S. sold one-third of its arm exports to South Korea (15%), Israel (13%) and the United Arab Emirates (11%). The top U.S. military equipments included JDAM guided bombs and RGM-84L Harpoon-2 anti-ship missiles, delivered to South Korea, in 2008.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev holds a Kalashnikov gun
Russia remains the second largest supplier, with 23% of the global arms exports, or about $4.5 billion per year, the SIPRI data indicates. Russia’s main clients are China (40%) and India (20%), which belong to the top five of the largest conventional weapons importers from 2005 to 2009, SIPRI says. Russian exports of fighter planes included 82 Sukhoi fighters for India and 24 MI-17 helicopters for China.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Germany, whose exports doubled over the past five years, has become the world’s third-largest arms dealer, SIPRI reports. Germany now makes up 10% of the global volume. Most of Germany’s arms are sold to other European countries, such as Turkey (15%) and Greece (13%). German Leopard 2A4 tanks delivered to Turkey cost over 365 million Euros.  read more »

Napoleon III declared war on Mexico, attacked on May 5, 1862 - Cinco de Mayo, defeated by General Ignacio Zaragoza

Left: General Ignacio Zaragoza (1829-1862) - born at Bahía del Espíritu Santo, Texas, Zaragoza was educated in Matamoros and the Seminary at Monterrey.  Commanding the Mexican army opposing the French invasion, he defeated French General Count de Lorencez at the battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862; Right: In 1861, Napoleon III plotted to carve out a French empire in Mexico. The French marched on Mexico City, and were defeated at the battle of Puebla (May 5, 1862), setting back Napoleon III’s plans for a year.

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In Mexico, the various factions that fought their civil war had borrowed large sums of money from foreign creditors. The fighting devastated Mexico’s economy, and the country had to suspend payments on its debts. Taking advantage of the relative weakness of the United States during the US Civil War, in December of 1861 the governments of France, Great Britain and Spain landed an allied military force at Vera Cruz to protect their interests in Mexico and to try to collect the debts owed to their citizens. Juárez negotiated with the allies and promised to resume payments, and the British and Spanish troops began to withdraw from Mexico in April, 1862.  read more »

On Mar 2, 1969 world's first supersonic jetliner Concorde took flight, feat of collaboration eng. & work of beauty

A cluster of Concordes gather nose-to-tail at London's Heathrow airport. Air France and British Airways ran a regular transatlantic service to New York with an average flight time of just 3 and a half hours.

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It was a feat of engineering and a work of exceptional beauty and grace. It won the hearts and minds of millions of people.

Forty years ago today the supersonic Concorde took its first test flight, and a design paragon flashed across the skies over Toulouse. With its droop nose and delta wing, the Concorde was a high point of 20th century engineering (its maiden flight came three months before the first moon landing) and the kind of cooperative effort that now seems beyond us. As we enter a period of infrastructure spending, it’s worth noting what kept the Concorde aloft for 27 years.

Capable of twice the speed of sound, Concorde remains an object of aesthetic streamlined beauty. The long nose and swept back wings were made for speed. It was a design so distinctive that it turned heads whenever it flew and it flew so high you could see the curvature of the earth from within the sleek interior.  read more »

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Before man to blow to right
The wind once blew itself untaught,
And did its loudest day and night
In any rough place where it caught.

Man came to tell it what was wrong:
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By measure. It was word and note,
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The aim was song - the wind could see.

— Robert Frost

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