Crows

Do not blame me for this tidbit of profound information, I had nothing to do with it.

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently,
and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows,
and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu.
The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts. However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying
colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws.


By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks,

while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car. MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if
there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.


The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause: when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out
crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “Truck.”

WW I FLIGHT TRAINING VIDEO

Some history for aviation folks.

Nice training video from the USAF Museum. . . .

TRAINING VIDEO: An interesting video from long ago. I found it delightful to watch and think anyone with an interest in aviation will also get a kick out of our predecessors in flying. Although the majority of this is about the flying side, they also show a little of the maintenance side of flying. The maintenance people are the ones who kept the birds flyable and our lives were always in their hands. Never can appreciate them enough. Turn on your speakers.

What a fantastic piece of aviation history !
World War I Flight Training Video
http://www.nmusafvirtualtour.com/media/005/005k.html

Loving Lockheed’s airplane

Moving the fastest airplane in the world from the Lockheed plant in California to Area 51 in Nevada, for flight testing, in secret, wasn’t easy. Here’s how they did it.

The secret convey that moved the A-12 (Pre SR71 Blackbird) from Burbank , CA (suburb of LA) to Area 51 for flight testing.

This gives you a small clue to how complex just one phase of the program was and the measures taken to maintain its secrecy. I doubt you have seen some of the photos that were taken before, during, and after the move from Burbank to Area 51 in the remote Nevada desert.

roadrunnersinternationale.com/transporting_the_a-12.htm l

Another surprise

OUCH!!!! IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

New ObamaCare Fees Coming in 2014
December 26, 2013
Unless you’ve had a session with your tax accountant, or have read the ACA law, or the thousands of pages of regulations, you might not know this: The fees – AKA “taxes”, begin kicking in next year and we ALL get to pay.

“The cost of President Obama’s massive health-care law will hit Americans in 2014 as new taxes pile up on their insurance premiums and on their income-tax bills.

Most insurers aren’t advertising the ObamaCare taxes that are added on to premiums, opting instead to discretely pass them on to customers while quietly lobbying lawmakers for a break.

But one insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, laid bare the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.” The new taxes on one customer’s bill added up to $23.14 a month, or $277.68 annually, according to Kaiser Health News. It boosted the monthly premium from $322.26 to $345.40 for that individual.

The new taxes and fees include a 2 percent levy on every health plan, which is expected to net about $8 billion for the government in 2014 and increase to $14.3 billion in 2018. Insurers pay a 3.5 percent user fee to sell medical plans on the HealthCare.gov Web site.”

That 3.5% will get passed on to customers, too. Plus, it doesn’t stop there:

But ObamaCare taxes don’t stop with health-plan premiums. Americans also will pay hidden taxes, such as the 2.3 percent medical-device tax that will inflate the cost of items such as pacemakers, stents and prosthetic limbs. Those with high out-of-pocket medical expenses also will get smaller income-tax deductions.

Americans are currently allowed to deduct expenses that exceed 7.5 percent of their annual income. The threshold jumps to 10 percent under ObamaCare, costing taxpayers about $15 billion over 10 years. And those with larger incomes and paying into Medicare… get to pay MORE as well:

Under ObamaCare, individual tax filers earning more than $200,000 and families earning more than $250,000 will pay an added 0.9 percent Medicare surtax on top of the existing 1.45 percent Medicare payroll tax. They’ll also pay an extra 3.8 percent Medicare tax on unearned income, such as investment dividends, rental income and capital gains.

The really sad part of all this? If you were to ask a Low Information Voter how much they think healthcare is going to cost them under ObamaCare, most will probably say, “It’s free, right? Just shake your head and walk away, because like they say, “You can’t fix stupid.” Or those choosing to be ignorant of what’s really going on.

VA hospital refuses to accept ‘Merry Christmas’ cards

Is this the all time low for the VA?

VA hospital refuses to accept ‘Merry Christmas’ cards

Boys and girls at Grace Academy in Prosper, Tex., spent most of last Friday making homemade Christmas cards for bedridden veterans at the VA hospital in Dallas.

Fourth-grader Gracie Brown was especially proud of her card, hoping it would “make their day because their family might live far away, and they might not have somebody to celebrate Christmas with.”

“I’d like them to know they’ve not been forgotten and somebody wanted to say thank you,” Gracie told MyFoxDFW.com.

Gracie’s card read, “Merry Christmas. Thank you for your service.” It also included an American flag.

But the bedridden veterans at the VA hospital will never get to see Gracie’s card. Nor will they see the cards made by 51 other students. That’s because the Christmas cards violated VA policy.

"It really didn’t occur to me there would be a problem with distributing Christmas cards," said Susan Chapman, a math teacher at the academy. She’s married to a veteran and volunteers with the American Legion and other veterans’ organizations.

On Monday morning the boys and girls were planning on hand delivering the cards to the wounded veterans. Chapman called the hospital to make final arrangements and that’s when she learned there was a problem.

"I told him my students made cards, we’d like to bring them down for the veterans," Chapman told the television station. "And he said, ‘That’s great. We’re thrilled to have them, except the only thing is, we can’t accept anything that says ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘God bless you’ or any scriptural references because of all the red tape.’"

A VA official quoted the policy which is in the Veterans Health Administration handbook:

"In order to be respectful of our veterans’ religious beliefs, all donated holiday cards are reviewed by a multi-disciplinary team of staff led by chaplaincy services and determined if they are appropriate (non-religious) to freely distribute to patients. We regret this process was not fully explained to this group and apologize for any misunderstanding."

Hiram Sasser, director of litigation for Liberty Institute, said it was a new low “even for the Scrooges and Grinches at the VA.”

“Targeting the benevolent work of little children for censorship is disgusting,” Sasser told me. “Do the Grinches in the administration of the VA really believe our bravest warriors need protection from the heartfelt well wishes of small children saying Merry Christmas?”

Andrea Brown, Gracie’s mom, was dumbfounded by the news.

“This wasn’t the country I grew up in, when you couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ you couldn’t say ‘God bless you’ or reference any scripture,” she told MyFoxDFW.com.

She told the television station the boys and girls were heartbroken that the military personnel would not be able to receive their cards.

"They couldn’t believe the people that these people they wanted to honor weren’t going to get the chance to see what they had done," she said.

The cards will not be thrown away — they are being shipped to Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio and to a private facility for veterans in Louisiana.

Sasser said at some point, “does the VA have no shame?”

“Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ wouldn’t even ban little children from wishing our veterans Merry Christmas,” Sasser said.