an exercise in miscellany

Posts Tagged ‘USA’

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

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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

Statistics on Religion in America

In history, Religion on January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

stats on religion

Statistics on Religion in America Report is an extensive  survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life details statistics on religion in America and explores the shifts taking place in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans age 18 and older, the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey finds that religious affiliation in the U.S. is both very diverse and extremely fluid.

via Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life

Operation Ajax

In operations and projects on December 4, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Operation AjaxThe 1953 Iranian coup d’état (known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup) was the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Iran, and its head of government Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the intelligence agencies of the United Kingdom (under the name ‘Operation Boot’) and the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project).  The coup saw the transition of Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979.

via 1953 Iranian coup d’état

Operation 40

In operations and projects on November 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Operation 40 was a Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored undercover operation in the early 1960s, which was active in the United States and the Caribbean (including Cuba), Central America, and Mexico. It was created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in March 1960, after the January 1959 Cuban Revolution, and was presided over by Vice-president Richard Nixon. The group included Frank Sturgis (who would later become one of the Watergate burglars); Felix Rodriguez (a CIA officer who later was involved in the capture and summary execution of Che Guevara); Luis Posada Carriles (held in the US in 2010 on charges of illegal immigration, he is demanded by Venezuela for his key role in the execution of the 1976 Cubana Flight 455 bombing); Orlando Bosch (founder of the counterrevolutionary Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, that organized the 1976 murder of Chilean former minister Orlando Letelier); Rafael ‘Chi Chi’ Quintero; Virgilio Paz Romero; Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz; Bernard Barker; Porter Goss; and Barry Seal. Members took part in the April 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion directed against the government of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro.

Operation 40 had 86 employees in 1961, of which 37 were trained as case officers.

via Operation 40

Office of Strategic Services

In history, words & phrases on September 12, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II.

It was the wartime intelligence agency, and it was the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The agency was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States military.

Prior to the formation of the OSS (the American version of the British Secret Intelligence Service and Special Operations Executive), American intelligence had been conducted on an ad-hoc basis by the various departments of the executive branch, including the State, Treasury, Navy, and War Departments.

via Office of Strategic Services

Operation Pastorius

In history, operations and projects on August 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Operation Pastorius was a failed plan for sabotage via a series of attacks by Nazi German agents inside the United States. The operation was staged in June 1942 and was to be directed against strategic U.S. economic targets. The operation was named by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr, for Francis Daniel Pastorius, the leader of the first organized settlement of Germans in America.

via Operation Pastorius

Artificial Scarcity

In wild card, words & phrases on June 2, 2012 at 6:45 am

Artificial scarcity describes the scarcity of items even though the technology and production capacity exists to create an abundance. The term is aptly applied to non-rival resources, i.e. those that do not diminish due to one person’s use, although there are other resources which could be categorized as artificially scarce. The most common causes are monopoly pricing structures, such as those enabled by intellectual property rights or by high fixed costs in a particular marketplace. The inefficiency associated with artificial scarcity is formally known as a deadweight loss.

via Artificial Scarcity

List of Artificial Radiation Belts

In history, science & nature on May 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Artificial radiation belts are radiation belts that have been created by high altitude nuclear explosions.

List of Artificial Radiation Belts
Explosion Location Date Yield (approximate) Altitude (km) Nation of Origin
Hardtack Teak Johnston Island (Pacific) 1958-08-01 3.8 megatons 76.8 United States
Hardtack Orange Johnston Island (Pacific) 1958-08-12 3.8 megatons 43 United States
Argus I South Atlantic 1958-08-27 1-2 kilotons 200 United States
Argus II South Atlantic 1958-08-30 1-2 kilotons 256 United States
Argus III South Atlantic 1958-09-06 1-2 kilotons 539 United States
Starfish Prime Johnston Island (Pacific) 1962-07-09 1.4 megatons 400 United States
K-3 Kazakhstan 1962-10-22 300 kilotons 290 USSR
K-4 Kazakhstan 1962-10-28 300 kilotons 150 USSR
K-5 Kazakhstan 1962-11-01 300 kilotons 59 USSR

The table above only lists those high-altitude nuclear explosions for which a reference exists in the open (unclassified) English-language scientific literature to persistent artificial radiation belts resulting from the explosion.

The Starfish Prime radiation belt had, by far, the greatest intensity and duration of any of the artificial radiation belts.

The Starfish Prime radiation belt damaged the United States satellites Ariel 1, Traac, Transit 4B, Injun I and Telstar I.  It also damaged the Soviet satellite Cosmos V.  All of these satellites failed completely within several months of the Starfish detonation

via Artificial Radiation Belts

Operation Cyclone

In history, operations and projects, wild card on March 15, 2012 at 6:41 am

Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency program to arm, train, and finance the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan, 1979 to 1989. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups that were favored by neighboring Pakistan, rather than other, less ideological Afghan resistance groups that had also been fighting the Marxist-oriented Democratic Republic of Afghanistan regime since before the Soviet intervention. Operation Cyclone was one of the longest and most expensive covert CIA operations ever undertaken; funding began with $20–30 million per year in 1980 and rose to $630 million per year in 1987.

via Operation Cyclone