FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day August 12th through 15th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

The most important thing a man can know is that, as he approaches his own door, someone on the other side is listening for the sound of his footsteps.   – Clark Gable

 

FOD Trivia Question

Who said, “My wife and I were happy for 20 years.  And then we met.”

 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer

Only one state of the United States has never had a foreign flag fly over it.  Which state is this that was never claimed by a foreign country? Answer:  Idaho

 

International Lefthanders Day

International Left Handers Day is observed annually on August 13 to celebrate the uniqueness and differences of the left handers. The day was first observed in the year 1976 by Dean R. Campbell, founder of the Lefthanders International, Inc.  International Left Handers Day was created to celebrate certain people’s sinistrality and raise awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of being left-handed in a predominantly right-handed world.

It celebrates their uniqueness and differences, who are from seven to ten percent of the world’s population.  The day also spread awareness on issues faced by left-handers e.g. the importance of the special needs for left-handed kids, and also the likelihood for left-handers to develop schizophrenia.

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FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day August 10th through 11th 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

When two people meet, there are really six people present.  There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.     – William James

 

FOD Trivia Question

Only one state of the United States has never had a foreign flag fly over it.  Which state is this that was never claimed by a foreign country?

 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer

“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?”  What – nobody offered an answer.  Answer: “Devine wind” or “spirit wind.”

 

Dog Farting Awareness Day

Like humans, all dogs fart. It doesn’t matter their age, size, or breed. Sometimes people blame their own farts on dogs, but sometimes dogs really are to blame. Those who are thinking about adopting a dog must be aware of this.  The main culprit is the swallowing of air, which often happens when dogs eat too quickly. This frequently happens when dogs eat together, as they often are competing for food. A respiratory disease that increases the breathing rate may also cause the swallowing of air, as will feeding a dog directly after exercise, before their breathing rate has slowed down. Other culprits causing dog farts include having a sedentary lifestyle and eating difficult to digest food such as soybeans, beans, spoiled food, high-fat food, high-fiber food, milk products, and spices. The more hydrogen sulfide in a fart, the smellier it is. Thankfully, the smelliness can be combated. A study found that charcoal and zinc acetate, as well as yucca schidigera, may reduce the smell of dog farts, although these things will not decrease the number of farts. Dog farts can also be fought with bismuth subsalicylate, simethicone, and pancreatic enzyme supplements. A veterinarian should be consulted before giving these supplements to a dog.  Visit the Dog Farting Awareness Day Facebook page to learn more about the day. If you don’t have a dog, you can still raise awareness by telling others what you have learned about dog farting and how to lessen it. I’m not sure how this comes up in conversation, but maybe your friend’s dog farts or you want to blame a fart on your friend’s dog.  You also could read Walter and the Farting Dog.  So there ya go.  Far more information than you really need, but after all you can’t beat a good dog fart story.

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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 31st through August 3rd 2018

FOD Saying of the Day

Every good act is charity.  A man’s true wealth hereafter is the good he does in this world to his fellows.    – Mohammed

 

FOD Trivia Question

What Spanish painter, who died in 1973, is the only artist to have his work displayed in the Louvre while he was still alive?

 

Previous FOD Trivia Answer:

Aristotle taught that all things were made up from four great elements.  Name the four Aristotelian elements.  Answer:  Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

 

Apple News

On 02 Aug, Apple Inc. became the first company to be worth one trillion dollars.  Wow! 

 

China Continuing to Coerce South China Sea Neighbors With Maritime Force

China announced on 31 July that it would buy all the Iranian oil that might come on the market at a discount regardless of sanctions imposed by other nations.  That caused the price of oil to stay below $70.00/barrel.  It’s a move to strengthen its Belt and Road Initiative or more specifically the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB).  Additionally China persists in employing a variety of tactics to coerce Taiwan, its maritime neighbors and put more pressure on Japan, a panel of experts agreed last week.  Nowhere is that more visible than Beijing’s “persistent and flexible presence” from its maritime militia, Coast Guard and People’s Liberation Army Navy. It is a maritime force that also keeps open the Malacca Straits, a vital passageway for its energy imports, as well as backing up its territorial claims far from its shores and extending its reach into the Indian Ocean and Africa, Bonnie Glaser, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies China Power Project, said on Thursday.  In addition to its maritime forces, China has expanded the capability of its artificial island network in the South China Sea. The installations are now capable of handling patrol aircraft, fighters and strategic bombers as well as anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles. The expansion allows the PLA “to develop operating concepts… they could use further north” to intimidate Tokyo and raise new threats to U.S. bases on Guam, she said.  Collin Koh Swee Lean, a research fellow at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, said some South East Asian nations, already operating at a quality and numbers disadvantage with China on law enforcement and naval vessels.  They “could not match what China has” when Beijing was only employing its coast guard or maritime militia in these disputes. In a confrontation with the Chinese under those conditions, a South East Asian navy and coast guard would likely “turn tail and run.”  “Modernization is moving at a snail’s pace” in these nations’ coast guards and navies, he said. Because the security needs vary widely, there is little or no coordination among neighbors on buying together, setting common needs, developing interoperable capability and a general reluctance to spend money in this area. They also don’t want to risk provoking China — militarily or economically.  Maritime domain awareness must be the building block in responding to China’s assertiveness, Hideshi Tokuchi, of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation USA, said. Tokyo does not distinguish between Beijing’s behavior in the South China Sea or what it is doing in North Asia — from intimidation of civilian fishermen to insisting on specious claims to islands in the East China Sea.

China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning takes part in a military drill of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy in the western Pacific Ocean, April 18, 2018. Picture taken April 18, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS – THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. CHINA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

From that point of view and geography, “Taiwan is more important than before” because it is in the connecting position between the two bodies of water. Its security concerns “should not be ignored” with strike aircraft from the mainland constantly circling the island and causing scrambles of fighters and periodic threats of invasion.  Glaser said despite its military moves and sometimes heated rhetoric China was not looking for a war with anyone in the Indo-Pacific.  “There has been some pushback” against China, surprisingly enough it came from Europe, Richard Heydarian, a fellow at ADR-Stratbase Institute, said Acknowledging France and Great Britain joining the United States in freedom of navigation operations around the artificial islands was new, he warned that those missions “alone could be counterproductive.” In Beijing, they could be dismissed as “empty tactics” because they “are not robust enough to deter” the Chinese from beefing up their military presence on the reclaimed lands or extending their reach to reefs and rocks further out or to the north.  Complicating matters is the behavior of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s “meek” and “humble” approach to China in its territorial dispute, despite an international arbitration panel’s supporting Manila’s claims, he said.  This has caused a split between the country’s military, “with its constitutional responsibility to protect Philippine sovereignty” and the president’s “leaning to China.” Signs of this include his allowing PLAN naval vessels to make port calls and military aircraft to fly into bases without treaty or much formal notice.  Further complicating matters in the Philippines is Duterte’s periodic bashing of the United States, that throws into question American use of naval and air bases. At the same time, the Philippine military has more closely embraced Washington to counter China and is seeking to expand exercises and training assistance.  While a way ahead would include a “negotiated Code of Conduct” for the South China Sea, Heydarian said for the countries in the region to accept such a deal it would have to include a freeze on militarization, reclamation and naval exercises.

 

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

FOD 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.

MLB All Star Game

It was a great night for baseball at the 89th All Star Game. 29 Medal of Honor winners were present and honored before the game.  Both teams featured young players who really seemed to be enjoying themselves.  10 home runs were hit, a new All Star Game record.  Astros teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer went back to back leading off the 10th inning against Ross Stripling, propelling the American League to an 8-6 win over the National League in a wild, dinger-driven Midsummer Classic. Bregman’s heroics earned him the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award.  A note: Aaron Judge was warming up just prior to his first at bat.  They cut away for a few seconds to show a surprise return of a service man to his family.  The cameras all showed the reunion of this young military family.  Judge put down his bat, removed his batting gloves and lent his applause to that of the crowd.  He put his gloves back on, grabbed his bat and took a fast ball out of the park.  He becomes the youngest Yankee to hit a home run in an All Star Game.

Continue reading “FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day July 15th through 17th 2018”