July 4th, 1943

Happy July 4th, Everybody! I have no idea what I am supposed to be celebrating. I am spending the day with a lot of friends. In Cambridge and later in Boston. I plan on going home around 9 and going to bed. I will be nowhere near The Esplanade except when I take the Red-line over the Charles to Cambridge around noon (I hope it is running). I strongly dislike that whole ordeal every year and usually manage to avoid it. Word on the street is the National Security State is only allowing clear bags down there to protect us from the terrorists. One of my friends wanted to bring her pressure cooker down to the river to make fresh rice for a picnic lunch. She’s not feeling so good about that now. So we will probably go to a roof-deck with an illegal gas-grill instead.

This year I had my fill of fireworks for a lifetime on Boylston Street. One of the best things that ever happened to me. Thank you, Chechnya!

The Battle of Kursk


Today is the 70th anniversary of what I consider the real turning point of modern history and the greatest battle of all time. No fighting has come close to this intensity or scale since. Again, I don’t know what we have to celebrate. There are many analogies to be made and lessons to be learned from everything surrounding the Kursk salient – the weapons, the tactics, the politics, the operations, the strategy, the people, the leaders, the generals, the military performance of the II SS Panzer Corps, the brilliant Soviet defense-works. Learn about it.

44 Replies to “July 4th, 1943”

  1. “One of my friends wanted to bring her pressure cooker down to the river to make fresh rice for a picnic lunch.”

    she was joking, right?

    looks like a real humdinger of a battle. will check it out.

  2. while most americanos enjoyed observing explosions this day, my colleague and i tested pressure cases for implosions. fortunately, none occurred.

  3. does the fact that the rooftop gas grill was illegal make the fire even moron devastating? inquiring minds wanna know.

    remember, it’s not gas grills that cause fires, it’s morons.

  4. this reminds me of a close call once with a duck, back in grad school daz. i was smoking it in our mini-webber on the back porch of a house we were renting. everything went fine until i checked the duck in its pan. to my amazement, it was brim full of hot grease from the now rendered and golden brown duck. so, panicking, i tried to carefully lift the pan off the charcoal grill. this is nearly impossible to do without spilling, so hindsight sez use a cup to bail.

    but nooooooooooo, too much wine (and/or glaucoma medicine) sez i can do it–NOT. as i lifted the duck, grease drips onto the hot charcoal below. my horrified, screaming young wife standing behind me said the flames we lapping the eaves. so, mistake no. 2, i quickly bring the now “duck flambe” into the kitchen. at least the fire outside is now starved of fuel, but now i have a fire inside the house to put out.

    i think i put it in the sink and poured water on the whole mess. ruined the now black duck, but hey, i saved the day, ugly style.

  5. Here in flyover the city put on a decent fireworks display at the lake. Watched from the porch.

    Spent the morning with Ms. Remus on pistol drills – she’s breaking in a new Sig. Slow fire is just a ragged hole – now to speed things up a bit.

    Put a longer range scope on the bolt “varmint” heavy barrel, will zero at 200 yds. over the weekend. Should be able to drop the little bastards out to about 1000 yds.

    Put the finishing touches on a Marlin lever gun – polished the action up a bit. Not the butter of a Henry lever, but a Marlin lever gun is kind of the 19th century technology equivalent of an AK-47 and a hell of a lot more accurate.

  6. spraying someone with small caliber rounds at 20 yards; or knocking someone down at 200 yards with a single shot, which is more satisfying?

  7. When you watch that last video on YouTube it looks like there are some interesting videos suggested on the right.

  8. the quick and the dead

    just as i open zulu kilo and scroll down to the comments, the wife walks by, sees dave’s latest post and asks: “wot the hell is dat?” i answer quickly: “i don’t know, i just saw this myself”.

    still breathing…

  9. this reminds me of a sick native american joke:

    one day the son asks his father, the chief: “so how did i get my distinctive given name, two clouds, chief of the human beings?”

    “we name our children after the first significant things or events we see after you were born.”

    “oh, i see”, says the son, resignedly.

    “so what troubles you, two dogs fucking?”

    “oh nothing, father.”

  10. visiting the relatives in SoCal this week. as we passed Diamond Valley Lake, the topic of succession came up, whereupon i said: the native americans took over from the ice age megafauna, which they killed and drove off. later, the spanish took over from the native americans, who they killed and drove off. the white european settlers fought the spanish and took over their vast land holdings, after killing and driving them off. the pioneer euro settlers sold the land to the SoCal metropolitan water district, so now the former green pastorial and woodland valley has been flooded under a few hundred feet of water.


  11. wow, end of an era:

    An End to Eight Years of The Oil Drum

    Posted by Rembrandt on July 3, 2013 – 5:47am

    Dear Readers of The Oil Drum,

    A few weeks ago the ISEOF board (The Institute for Energy and Our Future that facilitates The Oil Drum), Euan, Super G, JoulesBurn, and Myself, met to discuss the future of The Oil Drum. A discussion we have had several times in the last year, due to scarcity of new content caused by a dwindling number of contributors. Despite our best efforts to fill this gap we have not been able to significantly improve the flow of high quality articles.

    Because of this and the high expense of running the site, the board has unanimously decided that the best course of action is to convert the site to a static archive of previously published material as of 31st July 2013. We will continue to post articles up to this date. Afterwards any articles will be held as a public archive into the foreseeable future, so that others can continue to learn from the breadth and depth of knowledge published by our many authors, over the 8+ history of this remarkable volunteer effort.

    We sincerely thank everyone who has been part of the TOD community – authors, staff and especially commenter’s and readers – for contributing to the success of the site. It is unusual for a site which is based primarily on volunteer effort to continue this long.


  12. D3PO on July 9, 2013 – 9:59pm

    Well, this has been an interesting day for me. Met with my ex-brother-in-law for probably for the last time, who has about 2 months left to live (mesothelioma). Then, I check in here to read this announcement. Can’t say I didn’t see it coming. I agree with Leanan that the site peaked long ago, and has been on a long slide. I also agree with Nicole’s (Stoneleigh) comment that the site lost a lot of its cutting edge controversy by over-editing the potential contributions. However, the end for this site was likely the simple fact that oil production indeed peaked, probably back in 2005-6. I think by now the anticipation of the peak can be safely said to be over. TOD itself was doomed.

    I’ve used and cited this internet site more than any other in my recent academic presentations on fossil fuel energy and related topics, both in seminars and in graduate and undergraduate courses taught. I’ve also enjoyed reading many of the many comments, that have often been as informative as the articles and always entertaining.

    Congratulations and heartfelt thanks to the many TOD contributors and the editorial staff. It was a wonderful site, and I’m glad that there will be an archive to draw from in the future, until the hosting internet dies, of course.

    Has anyone thought of a hard copy book or series of texts? Those should hold up for some time until a fusion breakthough or we all go the way of the dodo.


  13. what does it signify that upon retirement, recent US presidents are advised by their lawyers not to travel abroad for fear of being arrested and brought to trial on human rights violations?

  14. hey Bif, how come the Empire State Building didn’t fall into its own footprint after being hit with a B-24 bomber in 1945? looks like a pretty big hole to me, with fires to boot. guess they just don’t make ’em like they used to…

  15. That would be like asking: If the canon shell made a big crater, why didn’t the bullet?

    The Sept 11 event involved two Boeing 767s, each weighing about 400,000 lbs. They hit the north and south towers at 465 mph and 590 mph, respectively. In each case the buildings took a direct hit, absorbing the full energy and mass of the aircraft.

    The Empire State building was hit by a B25 bomber. This is a small twin-engine bomber weighing about 25,000 lbs. and with a cruise speed of 230 mph. The building absorbed a portion of the collision with one engine entering into the structure and the other engine careening off onto the roof of a nearby building.

    The 767s each represented 16 times the mass of a B25, moving at twice (or more) velocity of B25, and with forces of full deceleration inside the twin towers, where the B25 did not (possible partial deflection). The extraordinary difference in forces involved here really is like comparing a canon shell and a soft bullet. As far as other possible reasons why the two outcomes aren’t comparable, such as building material and structural characteristics, amount of fuel available for fire and destructive high temperatures, I don’t know.

  16. god doom, you’re still going about that stupid shit. who fucking cares? maybe george bush I arranged for the b29/empire state building thingy? but couldn’t pull it off. so gb2 did the fucking twin tower plus thingy. who the fuck cares? it’s all about travon martin now. musta been a conspiracy of some sort, right?

    you and dem niggers be down, right?

  17. Phil Mickelson coming from five strokes down in the last day of the British Open, and winning by three? Its not human! You think that wasn’t staged?

  18. dave, you have a brilliant mind. but, there’s a hole in it about the size of a B-25 Mitchell bomber in the Empire State Building when it comes to physics and conspiracy theories.

  19. yup, us niggers be down about that travon martin. as the prez sez, 30-odd yers ago that coulda been him. poor travon, all six feet of him wrapped about that little security guard’s body for bout 15 minutes o’ struggle, anda then, going for his gun, anda then, that no good guard up and shoots him, for no apparent reason. racist police brutaality if thar ever wuz one. yup, yup, we gonna get down and all upset bout that race card. maybe riot even. gonna git us some real tight marshall law anda curfews.


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