Sandbox (4)

Sometimes very active discussions about peripheral issues overwhelm a thread, so this is a permanent home for those conversations.

I’ve opened a new “Sandbox” thread as a post as the new “ignore commenter” plug-in only works on threads started as posts.

1,698 thoughts on “Sandbox (4)

  1. https://qz.com/1576597/off-duty-pilot-saved-lion-airs-737-max-the-day-before-its-fatal-flight/

    An off-duty pilot saved Lion Air’s 737 Max from a crash the day before its fatal flight

    When a Lion Air flight crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29 killing 189 people, it was the first accident for Boeing’s new 737 Max jet, and it drew investigator attention to a little-known new flight-control function.

    Known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, the system directs the plane’s nose downward in response to sensor data that shows the plane is in danger of a stall. The redirection happens without pilot intervention, and can be quite forceful. In the Lion Air case, it was triggered in response to erroneous sensor data indicating the plane’s nose was too high. Pilots say they didn’t learn of the system until after that crash.

    Bloomberg reported that’s because a third off-duty pilot (paywall) who was in the cockpit took the steps needed to stop the plane from engaging in repeated nose-down maneuvers—known in aviation as “runaway trim.” The third pilot’s presence wasn’t noted in Indonesia’s preliminary report on the crash of flight JT610, which attributed the corrective action to the commanding pilot on the Oct. 28 flight.

    On its penultimate flight, the plane began automatically adjusting the nose downward less than six minutes into the flight—soon after a cockpit alert activated at 400 feet to indicate an impending stall. The flight system carried out three maneuvers to adjust the nose downward, flight data showed, but the crew initiated steps to override it a little over eight minutes into the flight. The flight landed safely in Jakarta about an hour and a half after takeoff. When the pilots logged the flight later, along with several instrument failures, they noted they had faced “[speed trim] also running to the wrong direction, suspected because of speed difference.”

    On the flight the next morning, pilots on JT610 battling the plane were hunting through a quick-reference handbook until the plane hit the water,

    Uh, yeah, it’s kinda bad when the computer takes over and makes your airplane fly to the ground and basically ignores whatever you do with your joystick. CRAP!

    That’s ok for an F-16 or some high risk airplane or spaceship that NEEDS to be automated that way for a purpose, but this is not a good idea for a passenger plane when there is recourse to simpler and less-prone-to-catastrophe means of flying.

  2. stcordova:
    https://qz.com/1576597/off-duty-pilot-saved-lion-airs-737-max-the-day-before-its-fatal-flight/

    Uh, yeah, it’s kinda bad when the computer takes over and makes your airplane fly to the ground and basically ignores whatever you do with your joystick. CRAP!

    That’s ok for an F-16 or some high risk airplane or spaceship that NEEDS to be automated that way for a purpose, but this is not a good idea for a passenger plane when there is recourse to simpler and less-prone-to-catastrophe means of flying.

    Sounds like it was a combination of bad design ,inadequate oversight and inadequate training.

  3. An former airline pilot friend of mine when joy riding in his C172 said how distressing it was when his autopilot apparently engaged for no reason. To this day I don’t think he figured out what went wrong. He was unable to fly the aiplane, it just flew itself. Some how he got it to disengage. Freaking scary.

    In a modern airplane there are several layers of autopilot/flight control and the airlines require their pilots to fly on autopilot most of the time to save fuel. One layer of autopilot is the Flight Management System (FMS). The other layers are ones like MCAS. So at the supposed top of the control order is the human pilot who controls the FMS and FMS controls MCAS which relies on sensors like Angle of Attack. Well, one can see all the points of failure where Murphy’s Law can show its ugly head.

    I’m for automation, but the risk of things going wrong is building a plane so it is a little more stable and tolerant of variety of conditions. On one end of the spectrum is a glider. Now gliders are slow, but they sort of fly themselves. To the best of my knowledge, you can crash a glider, but you can’t put it in a nose dive like you can other planes. It’s forgiving in that sense. On the other end of the spectrum are dynamically unstable fighter planes like the F-16 and F-18 which MUST have their flight controls automated since this is like balancing a broomstick by your finger. But there is no reason, from a safety standpoint, to make a passenger airplane closer on the spectrum toward the inherent instability of fighter plane. Passenger planes don’t have ejections seats!

  4. keiths:
    Sal,

    You forgot the very important step of reducing the power to idle.

    I probably forgot when I was actually flying! I remember the airspeed indicator going into REDLINE (when your wings are supposed to get ripped off the airplane) as I was heading straight for the ground. Amazing how much speed you can pick up in not time when using God’s G to get you to move faster.

    I was freaking upside down for a second and I actually had to let the plane’s nose go straight for the ground for a bit to regain control. It’s a sick feeling when you’re flight controls feel absolutely meaningless and totally unresponsive.

    The FAA eventually dropped spin recovery training requirements at some point for pilot certification. Some instructors still teach spin recovery training.

  5. Sal,

    To the best of my knowledge, you can crash a glider, but you can’t put it in a nose dive like you can other planes.

    Sure you can. See photo below.

    If you couldn’t dive a sailplane, you couldn’t gain the airspeed necessary for aerobatic maneuvers such as loops.

  6. keiths:
    Sal,

    Sure you can.See photo below.

    If you couldn’t dive a sailplane, you couldn’t gain the airspeed necessary for aerobatic maneuvers such as loops.

    Dang, didn’t know that!

  7. I really thought that sailplanes couldn’t be put in a dive since the airspeed would cause so much lift on the wings that couldn’t be compensated by the elevators that it would be forced to come out of a dive. I suppose one could design a glider that would have sufficient elevators to allow a high speed dive.

    I based my intution with toy gliders….

    Anyway, now I know if I ever flew a fixed-wing glider, I could dive out of bad thermal rather than this girl who miraculously survived a paraglider incident where she went up to 32,000 feet! YIKES!

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1542962/Paraglider-survived-in-storm-at-32000-ft.html

    Ewa Wisnerska passed out from lack of oxygen and suffered serious frost bite to her face after a storm sucked her 32,000 ft into the sky.

    A champion paraglider described yesterday how she was caught in a massive thunderstorm over Australia, hurled to a height greater than Mount Everest and encased in ice before managing to descend safely to earth.

    Ewa Wisnerska, 35, was sucked 32,000 ft into the air — so high that she lost consciousness from lack of oxygen and ice formed over her body. Hospital staff say the paraglider suffered severe frostbite from which she almost lost her ears.

    The adventurer said it was a miracle that she survived: “You can’t imagine the power. You feel like nothing, like a leaf from a tree going up,” she said. “I can’t do anything. It’s raining and hailing and I’m still climbing — I’m lost.”

    “I was climbing and climbing and the air was starting to freeze my sunglasses and then it was dark.”

    Hey, at least I know if I’m in the right sail plane, that won’t happen to me. EESH! Glad she survived!

    What the heck was she doing paragliding near a storm?

  8. Sal,

    I really thought that sailplanes couldn’t be put in a dive since the airspeed would cause so much lift on the wings that couldn’t be compensated by the elevators that it would be forced to come out of a dive.

    The wings actually cause a nose-down moment, because the center of lift is aft of the center of gravity. It’s the downward force on the horizontal stabilizer that keeps the nose up in flight.

    Sailplanes, like other airplanes, will oppose excursions from their trimmed airspeeds. Push the nose down, and speed will increase; if you relax the forward pressure, the increased downward force on the horizontal stabilizer will raise the noise, reducing speed. Pull the nose up, and speed will decrease; relax the back pressure, and the decreased downward force on the horizontal stabilizer will allow the nose to drop, raising speed.

    Getting a sailplane to dive just amounts to using the right combination of trim, forward stick pressure, and spoiler deployment.

    Anyway, now I know if I ever flew a fixed-wing glider, I could dive out of bad thermal…

    Doing so could get you into the same trouble as you did in the 172. Sailplanes have never-exceed speeds, just like other aircraft.

    There are much better ways of dealing with a runaway thermal, including spoiler deployment, slipping, and even (if necessary) spinning. Spinning (as opposed to spiraling) keeps the airspeed low and is actually quite safe structurally. You just need to give yourself enough altitude to recover.

  9. There are much better ways of dealing with a runaway thermal, including spoiler deployment, slipping, and even (if necessary) spinning. Spinning (as opposed to spiraling) keeps the airspeed low and is actually quite safe structurally. You just need to give yourself enough altitude to recover.

    Great stuff. Thanks!

    I’ve really wanted to fly a sail plane. I don’t know if the Experimental Aircraft Association would allow putting a small propulsion unit on it just so the thing doesn’t have to get towed.

    I prefer more recreational flying than aerobatic stuff. I don’t mind watching aerobatics, but I don’t think I’d enjoy it that much. I did it with an instructor, but it’s hard on the body.

    When I was flying out of Warrenton Airport, I saw a few experimental aircraft. They looked flimsy. I would feel safer in a sailplane.

    Hangliding looks fun, but I already had a bad crash that put me in the hospital. It was a freak accident at low altitude. It didn’t look bad on film but the crash shattered my left arm and I was in rehab for a while but still have some issues from the break.

    So if I fly again it might be in a sailplane. Of late I’ve been wanting to just get a good simulator setup at home. It’s at least safer!

  10. Sal,

    I’ve really wanted to fly a sail plane. I don’t know if the Experimental Aircraft Association would allow putting a small propulsion unit on it just so the thing doesn’t have to get towed.

    Motorgliders have been around for decades.

  11. keiths,

    Thanks a million for the information! I didn’t know that. There are only a couple glider ports or clubs within a few hours driving distance of me.

    As I thought about it last night, I realized I really can’t invest the time in live flying any time soon. At best I might get a simulator built in my house just to practice. There are now an abundance of youtubes with cockpit views, etc. So I can watch those.

    Looking back, I had a few close calls — pilot error of course. I really wasn’t that much into long cross country flying. I just like closed pattern flying — landing and taking off. I would travel between the same 4 airports in Virginia that were no more than about 1 hour apart from each other.

    I didn’t like having to deal to much with Air Traffic Control in high traffic air spaces. The closer to DC one got, the more stringently regulations enforced.

    Prior to 9/11/2001 I actually floated about 500 too high into class B airspace un-authorized. I thought I’d be canned for doing that.

    A few years after the 9/11/2001 terror, some guy forgot to turn on his transponder after takeoff for like 30 seconds, and they suspended his license! They get really sensitive when the Presidential Aircraft is in the vicinity! The announcements of restrictions are buried in Notams no one can really read through. I remember for the longest time the Notam was circulating not to land in Afganistan. lol. It was always the top Notam, and then the relevant stuff is just buried in the pile where you can’t find it.

    So, I think I’m just going to restrict my flying to simulators and cyberspace videos.

    Thanks anyway for the information. It helped me confirm my decision not to fly live for a while again, if ever.

  12. My favorite place to fly was in the Shenandoah valley. Here is video of a 10-year-old girl doing a spin recovery in a glider in Shenandoah. I suspect her daddy is flight instructor.

    She says after recovery, “Wow, that felt good!”

    Later he says “stall it.” She allows the plane to nose up just enough. Then he says, “floor it”, she floors the left rudder (in the video). Then to recover she eases off the rudder. I don’t know if she had to go full opposite rudder. The ailerons have to be level though. Beautiful.

    A 10 year old kid just thinks this is fun. I guess they’re so oblivious to the inherent risks — heck I was there myself, once upon a time. It’s a little un nerving to see the ground spinning in front of you as you’re diving and you have no control of the aircraft for a brief moment.

    Some of the comments about her flying were cute.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9HkxhjAlnM

    Then the same girl solos at age 14:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMG1trzznHg&feature=youtu.be

    I found the videos while looking for nearby glider ports. Shenandoah with its mountains is a perfect place to go gliding.

  13. This was a plane crash that involved some of my classmates in flight school a while back. It affects me to this day. The article mentions people I knew personally.

    Flying is a beautiful thing, but it’s not without risks:

    https://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/74317.html

    “The place we were was absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to stay, unfortunately Mike had to go to work and Jon offered to take him back-when he did he said hey Andrew, stay on the ground and I’ll be back,” Andrew Rozier-Smolen says.

    That’s the last time Andrew saw his best friend.

    “We all watched it. The flames were 25 feet high-there was nothing we could do,” Rozier-Smolen says.

    Andrew and Jon sang in an acapella group together…they met Mike in flight school.

    “Mike was just a super guy himself totally enthusiastic about flying. Every time I saw him he was like lets go fly, lets go fly,” Rozier-Smolen says.

    This was another account of the crash.
    https://www.whsv.com/news/headlines/85096.html

    I got a lot of the other info 2nd hand talking to guys in my flight school.

  14. stcordova: At best I might get a simulator built in my house just to practice.

    Flight simming can be a very expensive and time consuming hobby depending on the level of realism you’re willing to achieve, let me tell you.

  15. dazz,

    Flight simming can be a very expensive and time consuming hobby depending on the level of realism you’re willing to achieve, let me tell you.

    Yeah, but it sure is fun. And sims these days are realistic enough that the skills transfer well to the real thing.

    I met a guy at Oshkosh a couple of years ago who trains folks to fly sailplanes exclusively through the use of Condor, a soaring simulator. They step into a real sailplane for the first time and blow their instructors away.

  16. stcordova: This was a plane crash that involved some of my classmates in flight school a while back. It affects me to this day. The article mentions people I knew personally.

    What a tragedy. So sorry for your loss, Sal

    keiths: Yeah, but it sure is fun. And sims these days are realistic enough that the skills transfer well to the real thing.

    I met a guy at Oshkosh a couple of years ago who trains folks to fly sailplanes exclusively through the use of Condor, a soaring simulator. They step into a real sailplane for the first time and blow their instructors away.

    Yeah, it’s lots of fun. I didn’t know about that Condor sim, I’m guessing they focused a lot on the realism of the physics of flying. I believe the more “gamey” sims I’ve tried (mainly FSX) are somewhat lacking in that department.

  17. dazz: Flight simming can be a very expensive and time consuming hobby depending on the level of realism you’re willing to achieve, let me tell you.

    Do you have a setup? Any suggestions.

    Realism? Well, I’d like to have rudder pedals and a yoke. One aspect of realism is how the controls aren’t as responsive when your plane is all slowed down for landing. Can I sim a slip to lose altitude? How about recovery from a power off stall?

    I’d like to do emergency landings on the beach or a highway? 🙂

    Or do a soft field take off from the snow or desert.

    I used to have copy of microsoft flight simulator prior to 2001. I was having fun flying in between the twin towers.

  18. dazz,

    I didn’t know about that Condor sim, I’m guessing they focused a lot on the realism of the physics of flying.

    And on the physics of the atmosphere, too, so that you can do realistic thermalling, ridge soaring, and wave soaring.

  19. keiths:
    dazz,

    And on the physics of the atmosphere, too, so that you can do realistic thermalling, ridge soaring, and wave soaring.

    Awesome!

  20. stcordova: Do you have a setup? Any suggestions.

    Well, I’ve been out of the loop for a couple of years now. I used to fly mainly commercial airliners and I’m guessing you’re more into GA & bush flying, right?
    I think the best advice I can give you is to join a forum like Avsim and you’ll find plenty of experienced simmers willing to help. My experience is limited to what I did and might be of little help for you.

    stcordova: Realism? Well, I’d like to have rudder pedals and a yoke.

    That’s a minimum requirement really. You’ll probably want some panels to control things like the autopilot, radios, VOR/NDB, and a throttle quadrant for props

    But it depends on what kind of flying and what planes you’ll be using. I’m far from an expert TBH, especially when it comes to GA

    stcordova: Can I sim a slip to lose altitude? How about recovery from a power off stall?

    Keep in mind that I’ve never actually flown an actual plane, so I can only relate to what other say about the only sim I’m familiar with, which is FSX, and for all I know the physics are quite forgiving. You can totally recover from a stall, probably far too easily. T tails dont deep stall as they’re supposed to either.

    Maybe other sims do a better job at that though

    stcordova: I’d like to do emergency landings on the beach or a highway?

    Or do a soft field take off from the snow or desert.

    Sort of. But it will all feel the same because the type of terrain/surface is just a cosmetic thing in FSX. I believe there’s some limited friction simulation, but for the most part runways feel the same whether they’re dry, soaked or snowy

  21. Sal,

    Well here is a video of condor soaring I just found a minute ago. If they have support for multiple monitors, that would be awesome!

    Condor supports multiple monitors. VR headsets, too.

  22. Sal:

    Can I sim a slip to lose altitude? How about recovery from a power off stall?

    Yes, to both.

    dazz:

    Keep in mind that I’ve never actually flown an actual plane, so I can only relate to what other say about the only sim I’m familiar with, which is FSX, and for all I know the physics are quite forgiving. You can totally recover from a stall, probably far too easily. T tails dont deep stall as they’re supposed to either.

    Maybe other sims do a better job at that though

    X-Plane 11 is generally regarded as superior to FSX in terms of flight dynamics.

  23. Thanks to and solidarity with all those who turned out to protest the political insanity that is Brexit. Especially to our members who did so! This woman is not Theresa May but she should be!

  24. Dazz:

    What a tragedy. So sorry for your loss, Sal

    Thanks for you sympathies!

    When I was younger, my only thought was how fun this flying would be. My employer (an aviation research institute, MITRE CAASD) was paying for my flight school since they encouraged their engineers to become pilots so that we could relate better to our customers.

    Then one starts to hear of all the sobering stories in General Aviation (GA). I know it seems silly that I was wanting to just fly in a closed pattern, landing and taking off from the airport, or that I didn’t want to wander too far. Plus, that was always the most fun part.

    It was actually a lot of mental energy dealing with air traffic and air traffic control. Trying to process the positions of the other airplanes in my head and constantly listening to the radio and flipping frequencies on the radio. For long trips there was a lot a weather checking since small planes can be more easily flipped around by the wind.

    Learning to navigate without GPS was also challenging. I really had a hard time identifying landmarks and airfields from far away. The old style VORs were pretty cool, and I never got proficient at NDBs. GPS however did make navigation a cinch, but I always felt more secure if I could navigate without it in case my GPS failed.

    So I’m really appreciative of all the sim advice. I think I’ll start off with a modest investment in Flight Simulator just to get some of the conceptual stuff back, not really the feel of the controls when landing and taking off. I think couldn’t even do proper radio communication anymore.

    When I watch some of the videos, I still have a hard time processing what the guys are saying. The old AM radios are so full of static!

    Anyway, thanks to you and Keiths for the conversation. Thanks for the suggestion about the Avsim website!!!

  25. On a number of levels I was really impressed by this video by a VFR pilot of 15 years. He shows a lot of conscientiousness and takes responsibility for mistakes. The quality of the editing of his video and commentary and map descriptions was totally outstanding and must have taken him a week to put together.

    He was an VFR pilot who got into unexpected bad weather. I really respected how meticulous he was in everything he was doing. I would feel comfortable flying with someone of his temperament. He lived to tell the story.

    https://youtu.be/B56DoPDd6BM

    I can somewhat relate to this guy, though my story was never anywhere near as perilous.

    I once wandered up into a cloud at night while fumbling with my maps trying to find a different route around the clouds! Yeah, I sucked at multi-tasking! I had a lady friend with me and I wanted to get her home….

    I stayed calm as I could and remembered my training and decided to keep climbing through the clouds since there were mountains a plenty around too and just hoped I could find a hole later on to dive through and land. It worked out and I lived to tell the story!

  26. stcordova: Learning to navigate without GPS was also challenging. I really had a hard time identifying landmarks and airfields from far away. The old style VORs were pretty cool, and I never got proficient at NDBs. GPS however did make navigation a cinch, but I always felt more secure if I could navigate without it in case my GPS failed.

    Those things are a lot of fun to practice in the sim. You can get regular updates for your charts & navaids through navigraph. You can also replace the stock scenery with photorealistic images which is really cool for VFR. You can even create your own photoscenery using google earth or other satellite images at a very high resolution. Flying visual with those is super cool IMO.

    stcordova: I think couldn’t even do proper radio communication anymore.

    When I watch some of the videos, I still have a hard time processing what the guys are saying. The old AM radios are so full of static!

    The best way to hone your ATC communication skills is probably to join one of the two virtual AT networks: Vatsim (most popular in north america) or IVAO… or both.

    https://www.vatsim.net/
    https://www.ivao.aero/

  27. stcordova: did you (or the computer) keep a pilot’s log? Any memorable flights?

    I know IVAO logs all your flights, I’m sure VATSIM does the same.
    Don’t recall any “memorable” flights. I usually arranged a route to fly along some online friends so we could chat while at cruising altitude. Every once in a while there are these Crowded Skies events in IVAO, those are super fun. Lots of traffic and controlled airfields.

    stcordova: How did you get into this

    I’ve always been an aviation fan. My dad used to work in the industry so I got fascinated with planes at an early age.

    stcordova: since flying planes like this is nerdy.

    I’m a bit of a nerd, for sure

  28. Sal,

    So, I think I’m just going to restrict my flying to simulators and cyberspace videos.

    That’s probably for the best, considering what you’ve told us about exceeding VNE in a 172, busting Class B airspace, and getting stuck on top after flying VFR into IMC at night in mountainous terrain.

  29. Been meaning to post this. There are some truly evil people in the world.

    Someone whom I thought was a harmless entertainment industry celebrity turned out to be a murderer who got a way with murder! The guy is super bright. He’d be a grand master of chess, imho. He’s Boxing Promoter Don King. It was chilling to see him with Donald Trump years ago during the Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas fight. King looked so harmless in that appearance, but the guy is scary.

    https://youtu.be/0fJ-oKxTk2E

  30. Not a good day for Michael Avenatti who was the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, the supposed mistress of Donald Trump.

    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/michael-avenatti-arrested-new-york-federal-extortion-charges-1196834

    Michael Avenatti is being charged with federal crimes on both coasts: he’s being charged with four counts of extortion in New York and facing federal wire fraud and bank fraud charges in California.

    Avenatti was arrested Monday in Manhattan, Nicholas Biase, with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, told The Hollywood Reporter.

    Before he was taken into custody, Avenatti tweeted, “Tmrw at 11 am ET, we will be holding a press conference to disclose a major high school/college basketball scandal perpetrated by @Nike that we have uncovered. This criminal conduct reaches the highest levels of Nike and involves some of the biggest names in college basketball.”

    This purported scandal is the reason for his arrest. According to the criminal complaint filed Monday, Avenatti told Nike he would only refrain from holding the press conference if it paid his client 1.5 million dollars, and agreed to retain him and an unnamed co-conspirator to conduct an internal investigation for 15-20 million dollars. He repeatedly warned the company that he wasn’t “fucking around,” according to the complaint. Nike contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office, who investigated in conjunction with the FBI. (Read the complaint below.) The co-conspirator is described as “an attorney licensed to practice in the state of California, and similarly known for representation of celebrity and public figure clients.”

  31. Sal, I just edited out dollar signs from your comment as they trigger LaTeX notation.

  32. dazz, to Sal:

    The best way to hone your ATC communication skills is probably to join one of the two virtual AT networks: Vatsim (most popular in north america) or IVAO… or both.

    There’s also PilotEdge, which guarantees ATC quality and coverage by paying its controllers, many of whom are/were controllers in real life.

    The downside is that it isn’t free, unlike VATSIM and IVAO. Pricing starts at $19.95 per month.

  33. Alan,

    Sal, I just edited out dollar signs from your comment as they trigger LaTeX notation.

    There’s no need to do that. Just replace them with

    $

    … and they will render correctly.

  34. The latest Mindscape podcast with MacIver touches on many topics that have been discussed at TSZ. It discusses niche-based sensing and action, how these change in evolution, links to neural structure,, how planning capacities may have evolved to support those changes, the links to long distance ethics (Singer’s pond) and long range discounting (climate change), and finally whether we can use cultural/technological infrastructure to modify related genetic propensities.

    Link has both audio and transcript
    https://www.preposterousuniverse.com/podcast/2019/03/25/episode-39-malcolm-maciver-on-sensing-consciousness-and-imagination/

  35. I only recently learned this about history, Operation Compass:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Compass

    It was a huge military victory in WW2 by the British:

    Operation Compass (also la battaglia della Marmarica) was the first large Allied military operation of the Western Desert Campaign (1940–1943) during the Second World War. British and other Commonwealth and Allied forces attacked Italian forces in western Egypt and Cyrenaica, the eastern province of Libya, from December 1940 to February 1941. The Western Desert Force (Lieutenant-General Richard O’Connor) with about 36,000 men, advanced from Mersa Matruh in Egypt on a five-day raid against the Italian positions of the 10th Army (Marshal Rodolfo Graziani), which had about 150,000 men in fortified posts around Sidi Barrani in Egypt and in Cyrenaica.

    The 10th Army was swiftly defeated and the British continued the operation, pursuing the remnants of the 10th Army to Beda Fomm and El Agheila on the Gulf of Sirte. The British took over 138,000 Italian and Libyan prisoners, hundreds of tanks, and more than 1,000 guns and aircraft, against British losses of 1,900 men killed and wounded, about 10 per cent of the infantry.

    It was an incredible rout!

  36. For the configurers of this site: The Search box in the upper-right of the page is faulty. If I search with the string “Holloway” or “EricMH” I don’t get the post he made here. I do get one by Gregory that mentions him. Does it only search for strings inside an OP? Or what?

  37. Joe Felsenstein,

    I suspect what information is available depends on permissions level. I didn’t find any of Eric’s OPs using search on “all posts” but I was able to find them by using the user list and clicking “view”. Eric has authored two OPs. The one Corneel commented about and an earlier one.

  38. Joe Felsenstein: If I search with the string “Holloway” or “EricMH” I don’t get the post he made here. I do get one by Gregory that mentions him. Does it only search for strings inside an OP? Or what?

    Ah, I thought I’d been able to search posts by a particular author before. You can do it using the OPs list but you need to find at least one post by that author and click on the name to find all the others. Not a great help if you can’t find one to start with!

    ETA Entering site:theskepticalzone.com EricMH into Google finds it third hit.

  39. http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2011/06/21/humans-have-a-magnetic-sensor-in-our-eyes-but-can-we-see-magnetic-fields/#.XJ7khFVKh7Y

    A radical idea

    The connections between light, cryptochrome and a magnetic sense were laid out by Klaus Schulten and Thorsten Ritz in 2000, in a bravura paper that united biology and quantum physics. They suggested that when cryptochrome is struck by blue light, it transfers one of its electrons across to a partner molecule called FAD. Electrons normally waltz around in pairs, but thanks to the light, cryptochrome and FAD now have lone electrons. They are known as a “radical pair”.

    Electrons also have a property called “spin”. In a radical pair, the spins of the two solo electrons are linked – they can either spin together or in opposite directions. These two states have different chemical properties, the radical pair can flip between them, and the angle of the Earth’s magnetic field can influence these flips. In doing so, it can affect the outcome or the speed of chemical reactions involving the radical pair. This is one of the ways in which the Earth’s magnetic field can affect living cells. It explains why the magnetic sense of animals like birds is tied to vision – after all, cryptochrome is found in the eye, and it’s converted into a radical pair by light.

    Several experiments in the past few decades have support Schulten and Ritz’s theory. Foley’s work also seems to fit

  40. TEST


    ZincFinger 1: ACCTaagacagg
    ZincFinger 2: accTAAGacagg
    ZincFinger 3: acctaaGACAgg
    ZincFinger 4: acctaagacAGG-

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