Military & War

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Hello from overcast Washington, DC. I'm here on behalf of the Arnold Air Society to attend our annual executive board meeting representing schools in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Also included are several social functions, most notably the Airmen of the Year dinner and Air Force anniversary gala. I'll return to Knoxvegas on 14 Sep.

I plan to sightsee as much as possible (only my second time in DC), so look for pictures as the trip goes on. That is, of course, assuming I can continue to mooch free wireless off of "Yoni and Kitt," who are presumably located somewhere nearby in my hotel.
Random

Hatachi ("Twenty") Today

Twenty In General
20 (twenty) is the natural number following 19 and preceding 21. Twenty is a composite number, its proper divisors being 1, 2, 4, 5 and 10. It is also the sum of the first four triangular numbers, making it a tetrahedral number. Twenty is the smallest abundant number that is not a multiple of 3. It is a Harshad number and a self number.

The ordinal form is “twentieth.” Twenty is factored 2^2 * 5. Twenty is represented in Roman numerals as XX, and in binary as 10100.

It is the total number of digits on the human body, which makes it a possible candidate for a numeral system. Twenty is used as a radix for vigesimal number systems. In the old British currency system, there were twenty shillings in a pound.

A polyhedron with twenty faces is an icosahedron.

Twenty is the first number in an early Indian magic square of order 3.

In science, twenty is the atomic number of calcium, the third Magic number (physics), and the number of proteinogenic amino acids that are encoded by the standard genetic code.

In astronomy, twenty may refer to Messier object M20, a magnitude 5.0 nebula/open cluster in the constellation Sagittarius, also known as the Trifid Nebula, or New General Catalogue object NGC 20, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Andromeda.

In a game of chess both players have 20 first moves from which to choose.

The number 20 is used as an index in measuring visual acuity. 20/20 indicates normal vision at 20 feet, although it is commonly used to mean “perfect vision.” When someone is able to see only after an event how things turned out, that person is often said to have had “20/20 hindsight.”

Twenty questions is a popular party game.

Twenty is the age of majority in Japanese tradition. Someone who is exactly twenty years old is described as hatachi.

The “Twenty Year Curse” refers to the pattern of the president of the United States elected every twenty years starting with 1840 to die in office. This pattern failed when Reagan survived his time in office.

NASCAR star Tony Stewart drives a car with the number 20 on it.

Bands with the number twenty in their name include Matchbox 20.

A group of twenty units is often referred to as a score.

Furthermore, twenty can refer to the code for international direct dial phone calls to Egypt; Twenty, a village in Lincolnshire; in the United States Constitution, $20 is the threshold value of civil disputes above which the right to trial by jury is preserved; the denomination of U.S. dollar with Andrew Jackson’s portrait; the designation of Interstate 20, a freeway that runs from Texas to South Carolina; Twenty, a 1997 album by Lynyrd Skynyrd; historical years: 20 A.D., 20 B.C., or 1920; used as part of the 10-code system to reference to a person or object’s location (”What’s your twenty?”).

Oh, and twenty is now my current age.

15 August in History
1620 - The Mayflower pulled out of Southampton, England
1877 - Thomas Edison made the first-ever recording - "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
1914 - Panama Canal opens to traffic
1945 - VJ Day; Japan surrenders unconditionally, ending World War II
1947 - India gains independence from Britain
1961 - Construction begins on the Berlin Wall
1969 - First day of Woodstock Music and Art Festival
1985 - I was born

Others Born on 15 August
1769 - Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France (d. 1821)
1912 - Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)
1950 - Princess Anne of the United Kingdom
1968 - Debra Messing, actress
1972 - Ben Affleck, American actor

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Commentary

"PC Load Letter?"

Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the Goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?
Office Space is undeniably one of the greatest American films of the last half-century. I realize this is old news considering the film opened in 1999, but it’s a recent DVD acquisition of mine. Owning it allows me to celebrate--nay, revel--in its greatness, and I have thoroughly reveled in said greatness this evening.

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Random

Hark, the Silent Blogger Updates

I safely returned home from Ellsworth AFB, SD late on the evening of 21 July 2005 after having successfully completed Air Force ROTC Field Training.

Since then I’ve done my damnedest to do as little as possible. When one returns from an environment wherein one is told when to wake up and when to sleep, when to shower, what to wear, when to speak, when to sit, and when and what to eat, I think taking a little time to be as unproductive as possible is wholly warranted.

Not that I’m justifying my lazy ass-ness.

Oh, I’m in the market for a new cell phone, and am open-minded to considering a new service plan. Any good deals out there?

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British Royal Family

Her Majesty's Royal iPod



AFP reports that HM The Queen has joined the portable digital music revolution and invested in an Apple iPod:
Queen Elizabeth II has dipped into the royal purse to snap up an iPod.

The Sun said the 79-year-old sovereign had bought a six-gigabyte silver model for 169 pounds.

The pocket-sized digital music players can hold up to 10,000 downloaded songs.

Queen Elizabeth's second son Prince Andrew -- fourth in line to the throne -- was reported to be behind the move, having bought his mother a mobile phone and taught her how to use it in 2001.

"The Queen loves music and was impressed by how small and handy the iPod is," a royal insider told the tabloid on Friday.

"Obviously it is quite complicated to download songs, but I'm sure one of the courtiers will do it for her.

"Prince Andrew will probably also help out because he's a real dab hand with gadgets."

The newspaper suggested Abba's "Dancing Queen" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears might be on the royal iPod.

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Military & War

Rules for MilBloggers in Iraq

LCDR Smash has a must-read entry for all milbloggers:
New regulations for milbloggers were released in April by the headquarters of the Multi-National Corps in Iraq.

At this point, the policy only applies to units assigned to Iraq. All personnel are required to register their websites with their chain of command. There is no "pre-screening" or "censorship" policy. However, all commanders are responsible to ensure that the following "prohibited information" is not published:

1. Classified information

2. Casualty information before the next-of-kin has been formally notified by the Military Service concerned.

3. Information protected by the Privacy Act.

4. Information regarding incidents under ongoing investigation.

5. For Official Use Only information.
Smash also has a .pdf copy of the full reg available. While this only applies to units in Iraq, the rules are worth following even stateside. Check it out.

(cross-posted to afrotc and usmilitary)

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Random

Summer Revamp

Whew. I've spent the past couple of days redesigning and revamping the journal. If you're reading this from your LJ friends page, take a second to click over to my main journal page and give the new layout a once-over.

You'll notice the pop art styling inspired by Roy Lichtenstein. I've been using a frame from "The Enemy" as my default userpic for awhile now, but this new layout takes my love of Lichtenstein (the artist) to a new level.

Oh, and I've made a few more userpics, too; most will be used to visually identify the main idea of the associated entry.

I'm now syndicating the journal in both Atom and RSS. The feeds are available on the sidebar.

Finally, I've submitted Check Six to two blogger groups: the Rocky Top Brigade (for Tennesseans) and MilBlogs (for military members, vets, and their dependents). In addition, I've utilized BlogRolling.com to enable me to keep track of my favorite non-LJ blogs; you'll find them and a selection of my LJ friends' journals on the sidebar.

Look for a photo album in the near future.

So there it is. How does it look?

Update: Well bloody hell. Off I go advertising my layout and then LiveJournal breaks down and defaults back to the old scheme. It's a system-wide problem, not a localized event. My apologies if you followed my request to look at the new style and found a hideous blue-white-gray mess in its place.

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