an exercise in miscellany

Archive for the ‘wild card’ Category

Operation Popeye

In history, wild card on September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

popeye-the-sailor-coloring-page07-source_7glOperation Popeye (Project Popeye/Motorpool/Intermediary-Compatriot) was a US military cloud seeding operation (running from March 20, 1967 until July 5, 1972) during the Vietnam war to extend the monsoon season over Laos, specifically areas of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The operation seeded clouds with silver iodide, resulting in the targeted areas seeing an extension of the monsoon period an average of 30 to 45 days. As the continuous rainfall slowed down the truck traffic, it was considered relatively successful. The 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron carried out the operation to “make mud, not war.”

via Operation Popeye

‘Operation Hollywood’

In wild card on September 10, 2013 at 12:39 am

operationhollywoodUsing lots of movie clips, “Operation Hollywood” explores this cozy relationship between Hollywood filmmakers and the U.S. government, and questions the wisdom of letting the Pentagon use movies to promote the U.S. army’s image.

via ‘Operation Hollywood’’

Value of Life

In wild card, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Cost_Value_MatrixIn industrial nations, the justice system considers a human life “priceless”, thus making illegal any form of slavery; i.e., humans cannot be bought for any price. However, with a limited supply of resources or infrastructural capital (e.g. ambulances), or skill at hand, it is impossible to save every life, so some trade-off must be made. Also, this argumentation neglects the statistical context of the term. It is not commonly attached to lives of individuals or used to compare the value of one person’s life relative to another person’s. It is mainly used in circumstances of saving lives as opposed to taking lives or “producing” lives.

via Value of life 


In science & nature, wild card, words & phrases on August 17, 2013 at 2:08 pm

ZOTzot v.

1.  to strike or destroy, especially with lightning or other beam or jolt of energy.

2.  slang usage on the Internet, to remove, censor, or ban material or participants.

3.  the cartoon strip “B.C.” has used “zot” for years as the noise the aardvark makes when “zotting” an insect or similar critter.

via zot definition

Super-Sargasso Sea

In people, wild card on July 27, 2013 at 7:38 am

bermuda_sargassoThe Super-Sargasso is the dimension into which lost things go, whose existence was proposed by Charles Hoy Fort, writer and researcher into anomalous phenomena. It may be thought of as the spontaneous, anomalous teleportation of an object into another dimension. Fort did not actually believe that it existed but, in the vein of the ancient Greek skeptics, he wished only to present a theory that was just as plausible as those in the mainstream. The name alludes to the Sargasso Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, which lies next to the Bermuda Triangle.

via Super-Sargasso Sea

Operation Argus

In history, operations and projects, wild card on June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

FishbowlrocketsOperation Argus was a series of nuclear weapons tests and missile tests secretly conducted during August and September 1958 over the South Atlantic Ocean by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency, in conjunction with the Explorer 4 space mission. Operation Argus was conducted between the nuclear test series Operation Hardtack I and Operation Hardtack II. Contractors from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as well as a few personnel and contractors from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission were on hand as well. The time frame for Argus was substantially expedited due to the instability of the political environment, i.e. forthcoming bans on atmospheric and exoatmospheric testing. Consequently, the tests were conducted within a mere half year of conception whereas “normal” testing took one to two years

via Operation Argus

How to Speak Gibberish

In wild card, words & phrases on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

550px-Speak-Gibberish-Step-2You might really think that gibberish is secret blabber talk or something a 2-month-old infant might say, but in reality it is a “secret language” used by some either for secrecy or just for kicks. If you want to join the conversation, listen up.

via How to Speak Gibberish

Sympathetic Magic

In Religion, wild card on May 10, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Mumford full bodySympathetic magic, also known as imitative magic, is a type of magic based on imitation or correspondence. The theory of sympathetic magic was first developed by Sir James George Frazer in The Golden Bough. He further subcategorized sympathetic magic into two varieties: that relying on similarity, and that relying on contact or ‘contagion’:

If we analyze the principles of thought on which magic is based, they will probably be found to resolve themselves into two: first, that like produces like, or that an effect resembles its cause; and, second, that things which have once been in contact with each other continue to act on each other at a distance after the physical contact has been severed. The former principle may be called the Law of Similarity, the latter the Law of Contact or Contagion. From the first of these principles, namely the Law of Similarity, the magician infers that he can produce any effect he desires merely by imitating it: from the second he infers that whatever he does to a material object will affect equally the person with whom the object was once in contact, whether it formed part of his body or not.

Sympathetic magic

Project Oxcart

In operations and projects, technology & innovatons, wild card on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

a-12-oxcartThe Lockheed A-12 was a reconnaissance aircraft built for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) by Lockheed‘s famed Skunk Works, based on the designs of Clarence “Kelly” Johnson. The A-12 was produced from 1962 to 1964, and was in operation from 1963 until 1968. The single-seat design, which first flew in April 1962, was the precursor to both the twin-seat U.S. Air Force YF-12 prototype interceptor and the famous SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft’s final mission was flown in May 1968, and the program and aircraft retired in June of that year. Officially secret for over 40 years, the A-12 program began to be declassified by the CIA in 2007.

Lockheed A-12

Spun Out of Whole Cloth

In wild card, words & phrases on April 28, 2013 at 8:47 am
6a013487e6f7ad970c015435660b00970c-800wiThe meaning of the phrase “made out of whole cloth” appears to have begun to change in the United States in the first half of the 19th century. The The Oxford English Dictionary labels the falsehood sense “U.S. colloquial slang”, and provides a citation from 1843: “Isn’t this entire story… made out of whole cloth?” The change of meaning may have arisen from deceptive trade practices. Charles Earle Funk suggests that 19th-century tailors advertising whole cloth may really have been using patched cloth or cloth that was falsely stretched to appear to be full-width.  Alternatively, the modern figurative meaning of “whole cloth” may depend on a lie’s having sprung whole ex nihilo, having no connection with existing facts. All-newness distinguishes garments and lies made out of whole cloth. This is a positive characteristic for clothes, but not for the average tissue of lies and deception.
 “whole cloth”