The F-104 Flies Again (in Norway)

7 10 2016

This week The Aviationist ran a cool article documenting the first flight of a newly restored CF-104 Starfighter, in RNoAF livery.  It was the culmination of a 13-year-long restoration project – talk about heart!

cf-104d-takeoff

For those unfamiliar, the F-104 Starfighter was a Cold War-era interceptor designed to fly at high speeds from air bases in the Arctic, to intercept Soviet nuclear bombers.  It could reach 48,000 feet in altitude within one minute after takeoff.  Compare that to the usual 30 minutes or so that it generally takes a modern commercial airliner to reach 30,000 feet (granted, they could do so quicker if they wanted to).

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The flight took place in Bodø, Norway.  The videos linked from the Aviationist article have some stunning shots, from which we took some still screen-grabs.  Enjoy.

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Check out the smoke trail it leaves behind, especially compared to the F-16 chase plane!

 

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Evidently more is in store for the F-104, overall. In August of 2016, the BBC ran an article stating that a cubist company, CubeCab, is teaming up with Starfighters, Inc. to launch microsatellites into orbit!  What a cool concept!  We will be watching for updates on this topic.

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Here are the extraordinary videos that were in the Aviationist article:

 

This one is for the hardcore aviation buffs (long video taken from the ground, with some great sounds as the planes fly overhead):

 





Speaking of Hot Air …

26 09 2016

sa-winds-1

Since a whole lot of hot air is about to be spewed forth across our fine nation [in the form of the first presidential candidate debate for the 2016 election cycle], and since it’s 106 degrees Fahrenheit at RttRL‘s editorial offices at the moment, we thought we’d share a cleverly written article from The LAist on the topic (our emphasis):

The Santa Anas are part of our invented origin stories and our common language; they are one of the very few things that all Angelenos experience in our sprawling, fragmented city. In fact, we have only three true civic icons, unbound to a specific location, and the mythic winds are one of them (palm trees and the searing promise/disappointment of the California dream are civic icons two and three, respectively).

There are a few quotes from Raymond Chandler and Joan Didion, which we can’t personally comment on.  But it seems that this article was missing a better quote, one from John Fante’s Ask the Dust.  But since we’re too lazy and unable to quickly locate it, we’ll be more scientific about it and simply substitute some images from the Web instead.

We like this one because it depicts little sailboats taking advantage of the strong offshore winds:

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But, you should still read Ask the Dust.

 

 





A Few Presidential Endorsements

25 09 2016

It’s a sad commentary on the state of affairs in the United States these days – whether from a cultural, political, economic, foreign/military policy perspective, or really by any other measure – when the mainstream daily periodicals of record are making statements and writing headlines like:

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(L.A. Times)

Or to take another example, from the N.Y. Times’ endorsement of Hilary Clinton for president:

In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year. A comparison like that would be an empty exercise in a race where one candidate — our choice, Hillary Clinton — has a record of service and a raft of pragmatic ideas, and the other, Donald Trump, discloses nothing concrete about himself or his plans while promising the moon and offering the stars on layaway. (We will explain in a subsequent editorial why we believe Mr. Trump to be the worst nominee put forward by a major party in modern American history.)

As so often happens during times of uncertainty, the bigots and racists come out of the woodwork to spew their toilet bowl thoughts on how one race or religion is inferior to their own, and seek to capitalize on this Fear to draw others to their way of looking at the world.

And what public discourse does the American voter get?  Discussions about Clinton’s use of email, casting doubt on her “credibility” and honor.  While this author still believes that Clinton, like all career politicians, is self-serving and bent on obtaining power, it is no exaggeration to say that there really is no alternative for any rational, responsible American voter.  Donald Trump is not qualified (in any sense) to be elected as chief executive.

So instead of talking about the real problems facing our country:

  1. Income inequality, the rise of the “corporation as an individual with all the legal rights therein”, and the disappearing middle class
  2. Human-caused climate change and other environmental destruction
  3. The knife in the heart of American democracy that is the Citizens United Supreme Court decision
  4. The looming funding crisis that Social Security still faces
  5. The growing homeless population
  6. Yes, the very real specter of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism
  7. U.S. policing problems stemming from “he was reaching for his waistband”, “I was in fear for my life” and other license-to-kill justifications for law enforcement

… The conversation revolves around the subject of Clinton’s affinity for Hotmail vs. the State department email system.

Choose wisely, America.  We have a lot to lose – maybe not as much as the ultra-rich billionares like Trump, but in some ways more.  We would lose whatever credibility we have as a nation and a people, if Trump is elected in November.





How not to do it

28 04 2016

Witness a truly great piece of journalism about a dead whale being blown up with dynamite:





Grouplove – Check ’em Out

18 09 2015

The editorial offices are almost back to “normal” here at Racing to the Red Light.  Sorry for the hiatus.  We’re attempting to once again face our addiction to Flaming Hot Cheetos Con Limon and Diet Hansons Root Beer, and we’re doing well of it so far, day to day.

We’ve been listening to some new-to-us music lately, so here’s our first post-hiatus music post.  Behold, Grouplove:





The Permanent Potholes of Los Angeles

3 04 2015

Here in Los Angeles we have become accustomed to driving over some of the worst roads in the developed world.

Until recently the street leading to our editorial offices resembled a bombed out battlefield more that a “paved road”. A hazard for motorcyclist and auto drivers alike, someone must have sued the City because suddenly one day it was repaved.

We recently spotted this pothole that road workers have evidently given up hope of fixing – they’ve instead simply painted over it:

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MC Breed and the DFC and Saddam Hussein

1 04 2015

in 1991, MC Breed and DFC accurately predicted the method of Saddam Hussein’s demise by hanging.

fictional Saddam Hussein as seen in MC Breed and DFC's video

SH name tag

The video is now a sort of blast-from-the-past, postmodern prophetic vibe from the Gulf War times.  People  Most people have forgotten that in addition to the recent veterans of America’s forays in the Middle East there are also veterans from the earlier Gulf War, some of them having been exposed to chemicals and other horrible shit in Iraq.

Here’s an evidently patriotic MC Breed leading Saddam to the gallows:

MC Breed and Saddam

Not sure who this is supposed to be, perhaps a Kuwaiti?

MC Breed and Saddam

MC Breed and Saddam

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Of course, Saddam was indeed hanged by his countrymen and the coalition/American forces in occupied Iraq, following a trial and conviction for crimes against humanities, among other offences.

Saddam on the gallows 2006 G image search

Here’s the video: