FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day September 15th through 17th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

When a man sits with a pretty girl it seems like a minute. But when that man sits on a hot stove for a minute – it seems longer than an hour.  That’s relativity.  – Albert Einstein

FOD Trivia Question

What is the name given to the heat used to turn a liquid into a gas or a liquid into a solid rather than to raise temperature?   Guesses?  Comments?  Is anyone out there?


Previous FOD Trivia Answer

Only one town in the US bears the official name of Beach.  In what state in Beach located?  Answer – North Dakota


Free Beer In Cleveland – Not Yet

Back in the 12 through 15 August 2018 edition of FOD I revealed there would be free beer in Cleveland – as soon as the Cleveland Browns won a football game.   Bud Light put “victory fridges” with 200-300 bottles of beer in spots around Cleveland that will remain locked until the Browns win a game.  Should that happen, a wireless signal will unlock the fridges and any people of age will be able to drink to their team’s long-awaited win.  That beer is aging as the Browns lost again this week, this time to the New Orleans Saints.  I didn’t watch the game, I only checked the score.  The beer could age out and will need to be rotated out of those “victory fridges” before Cleveland wins a game.  I don’t think it’s worth a trip to Cleveland however, after all – it’s Bud Light.  It’s not even boat beer!


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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day September 5th through 8th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of friends and family; and lastly, the solid cash.  – Nathaniel Hawthorne


FOD Trivia Question

What fastening material was born from the inspiration of inventor George DeMestral after he returned from a walk in the 1950’s and noticed his jacket covered with cockleburs?


Previous FOD Trivia Answer

What is the separation of metals from ore by the melting of metals using high amounts of energy.  For example, converting iron oxide to metallic iron by heating is called ____.

Answer:  Smelting


Boeing’s KC-46 Program Completes FAA Certification

As it’s been finally announced, I can speak to this.  The Boeing Company said on Wednesday its KC-46 mid-air refueling tanker program completed the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration certification, nearly three years after the planemaker commenced testing for the certification.  The KC-46, which is derived from Boeing’s commercial 767 airframe, will receive a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC).  Earlier in July when Boeing reported quarterly results, the company said it would spend an additional $426 million before taxes on the program as it worked through test delays and production changes to eight aircraft in various stages of production.  Analysts had said they were worried that the additional expenses on the KC-46 program would slow shares, adding that the higher tanker costs came with unchanged earnings and cash flow forecasts.  “This milestone is important in that it is one of the last major hurdles in advance of first delivery to the U.S. Air Force,” said Mike Gibbons, Boeing KC-46A tanker vice president and program manager.  Boeing is currently on contract for the first 34 of an expected 179 tankers for the U.S. Air Force, the Chicago-based company said.

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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day August 6th through 9th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

Life ever man holds dear; but the dear man holds honor far more precious dear than life.  – Shakespeare

FOD Trivia Question

OK, the last edition’s was a bit harder and you would have to have had some musical trivia knowledge.  “Kamikaze” became synonymous with the Japanese pilots and submariners who were sent out on suicide missions by crashing their aircraft of submarines into ships or other aircraft.  What is the literal translation of “kamikaze?” 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer

What country-western singer gave up his seat to Buddy Holly, on the ill-fated flight that also carried, The Big Bopper, Richie Valens, and several other country and rock musicians to their deaths in 1959? Answer:  Wayland Jennings.


CNO Points To Increased Oceanic Threat

Voice of America (VOA) is reporting  Chinese military vessels are now operating in the Northern Atlantic, and Russian submarines are prowling those same waters at a pace not seen since the end of the Cold War, the Navy’s top admiral told VOA in an exclusive interview.  Chief of Naval Operations ADM John Richardson said China’s military movements from the North Atlantic into the Mediterranean Sea create a “new dynamic.”  “Even five years ago, we wouldn’t have seen anything like this,” Richardson said.  According to Richardson, the Chinese navy is a global one that is both “ready and capable” of operating wherever Beijing wants.  “They’re certainly a pacing competition for us in terms of the naval threat,” he told VOA.  However, Chinese operations near the United States’ eastern shore are not as threatening as Russian vessels lurking below the ocean’s surface. NATO allies from North America to Europe are increasingly concerned about the uptick of Russian submarine activity in the North Atlantic.  “We’re talking about more (activity) than we’ve seen in 25 years,” Richardson said.  U.S. officials worry that Moscow may try to use its submarines to cut or tap into undersea cables that connect the two continents (Fireball note: Certainly a major issue our Navy needs to be concerned with in that in addition to the potential for cutting those cables would be the splicing into those cables and taking nefarious actions against our infrastructure like the US power grid.).  Due to these increased complexities in the North Atlantic, the United States has recently reactivated a command to secure the ocean on its eastern coast.  The U.S. 2nd Fleet helps fulfill new guidelines under Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis’s National Defense Strategy, which makes great-power competition, rather than terrorism, the primary focus of U.S. national security.  The fleet was deactivated in 2011 because the Navy needed the funds for acquisitions. It was reactivated in Norfolk on July 1.  Richardson will preside over the fleet’s formal establishment ceremony aboard an aircraft carrier in Norfolk on August 24 and covered here in FOD.  The 2nd Fleet commander will also head NATO’s Joint Forces Command Norfolk. Richardson said the dual-hatted command structure allows the U.S. and its allies to adapt together as they confront the rising Russian challenge.  As the U.S. Navy adjusts its geographic commands, Richardson said it also must stay ahead in the competitive realm of information warfare.  Navy sailors on the high seas are having to defend themselves from Russian electronic jamming devices much like those used against U.S. ground troops operating in Syria.  Richardson said sailors had “absolutely” encountered Russian jamming devices while operating in international waters.  “This is an emerging part of our business now,” he told VOA.  Richardson did not elaborate on how the jamming affects the Navy. Electronic warfare attacks have the potential to disturb navigation and communication systems.  “Those disruptive technologies…are really going to be decisive in the future fight, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re investing in those as well,” Richardson said.


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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 1st through 4th 2018

Fireball Saying of the Day

All you have to know about celery is that it’s made up of 95% water, and it’s 100% not pizza.


Xi Asserts Claim On South China Sea

As followers of FOD and I expected, Military Times is reporting Chinese President Xi Jinping strongly asserted China’s determination to defend territory it claims, including in the South China Sea, in a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.  While the tone of Mattis’ visit to Beijing was largely upbeat, Xi made sure to reinforce his reputation as a fervent nationalist when it comes to issues of sovereignty.  Though Xi gave no specifics in his statement, he was largely seen as indicating the South China Sea as well as self-governing Taiwan. China also claims territory held by India and uninhabited East China Sea islands controlled by Japan.  “Regarding the issue of China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, our attitude is firm and clear,” state broadcaster CCTV quoted Xi as telling Mattis on Wednesday at the Great Hall of the People. “Not a single inch of the territory left behind by our ancestors must be lost, while we are not seeking to take any bit of what belongs to others.”  Randy Schriver, Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, said Mattis made U.S. positions clear, including its longstanding and widely shared opposition to China’s militarization in the South China Sea.  “It’s not for one country to diminish what are international rights for navigation as defined in international waters,” Schriver said.  Mattis said the Trump administration’s decision to disinvite China from a multinational naval exercise this summer was an “initial response” to Beijing’s activity in the South China Sea. Mattis called the U.S. action a “relatively small consequence. I believe there are much larger consequences in the future.”  The U.S. military has deployed the third aircraft carrier this year to patrol the South China Sea, where Washington has criticized China’s military buildup on new manmade islands.  The 97,000-ton USS Ronald Reagan, carrying more than 70 aircraft, anchored in Manila Bay on Tuesday for meetings between navy officials of the two countries and liberty for its thousands of sailors after weeks at sea.  The U.S. military presence in the region “promotes our ability to safeguard freedom of the seas, unimpeded commerce, to deter conflict and coercion and to promote adherence to rules-based international order,” Rear ADM Marc Dalton told reporters on board the ship.  Two other American carriers earlier patrolled the waterway.  China has reportedly deployed anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, along with electronic jammers and other equipment, on islands it built on disputed reefs in the Spratly Islands, some of which have runways. It also landed a bomber aircraft on Woody Island in the Paracels group, sparking alarm among rival claimants and the United States. Washington has no territorial claims in the region but has declared that freedom of navigation and overflight in the waters is in U.S. national interest.

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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day April 16th through 21st 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

Give a man a beer and he drinks for a day.  Teach a man to hang out with guys who brew beer and he has beer for a lifetime.  Thanks Friend of FOD Roger for a great FOD Saying of the Day suggestion.   This evolved from the famous fish saying:  Give a man a fish and he eats for a day.  Teach a man to fish and he’ll buy a boat, poles, reels, waders, tackle, bad boat beer, and numerous ‘fish whisperer’ guides; all far surpassing the cost of buying fish from your local fish monger.  But – when you catch that fish – it’s all worth it.  This parable goes along with sell a man a streetrod and he has a car to show and be proud of.  Teach a man to build a streetrod and he’ll spend years and thousands of dollars trying to build a better one, or two or more of them.  What’s up with that?

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