THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 143

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THE RETURN TRIP– Episode 143

…I miss Earth as much as you, but we cannot allow it to disrupt our survival and seeing Braden is definitely a case of Desert Mirage Syndrome…

Desert Mirage by SoolArt deviantart.com

“Braden!” Celeste’s reference to the guardian of her children and dearest of friends is way out of context in relation to what she and Sampson were discussing, over yet another strange meal provided by the “Infinity Kitchen” of the NEWFOUNDLANDER, permanently parked on the Martian surface.

Sampson finishes swallowing the pleasant tasting orange substance he was eating to address her disjointed alluding to their friend, “What does King have to do with learning how to fly this thing.” He is itching to unravel the procedure connected to the actual engine start-up & driving of this alien contraption.

“Nothing Sam, I guess I am getting homesick.”

“Getting? So am I… so was E.T.”

“Well okay, got it bad, thinking about the kids, when I saw Braden’s face. He looked worried, like he was trying to tell me something.”

That is definitely a case of Desert Mirage Syndrome. I miss Earth as much as you, but we cannot allow it to disrupt our survival. We must keep our best wits about us!”

“Of course we do and I often fight off the homesickness, but this is different. For a moment, I would swear that he was trying to tell me something; no Deke, Gus or peanut butter cups, just Braden with a message.”

“And no Baby? Hhmmm, this must be serious.” Sampson is understandably concerned with the mental well-being of his wife, especially as it applies to her pregnancy. This imposed isolation is playing mind games with them and it is a constant struggle to repel imbalanced thoughts; and without an OB/GYN, her dietary needs may or may not being met.

“If you are worried that I am teetering on the brink, forget about it, I am fine. I am merely astonished by the clarity of the vision. He WAS trying to tell me something.”

“Does this mean I can’t commit you to that rubber-lined room, the one we haven’t figured out its purpose?”

“Your 25 credits in Psyche 101 do not cut it here, oh and by the way, your title as Commander is hereby revoked. We are on an alien spaceship and you cannot make anything work around here without my help.”


THE RETURN TRIP

Episode 143


page 177

 

Contents TRT

Kamikaze Attack Facts – WIF at War

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Facts About

Kamikaze Attacks

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As World War II was coming to an end, American Naval forces were quickly approaching Japan and unless something radical happened, Japan would be defeated. Their answer to turn the tides of war was a unique Navy unit called Tokubetsu Kogekitai, which means “Special Attack Unit.” But they were better known as kamikazes, which means “divine wind.” The division consisted of volunteers who would purposely crash into American warships. Here are 10 interesting facts about those men.

 10. The Battle of the Philippine Sea

One of the major naval engagements of World War II was the Battle of the Philippine Sea, which took place on June 19 and 20, 1944. The victor was the American Navy, which pretty much wiped out much of the Japanese fleet without losing too many of its own vessels.

The Japanese’ problem was that their planes were the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, also called Zekes, and they were completely ineffective against the powerful American Navy. Mainly, they had a tendency to burst into flames when they were hit by machine gun bullets. After the battle, the Japanese lost 480 Zekes, which was 75 percent of their fleet.As the American forces neared the Philippines, which was occupied by Japan, the Japanese Navy knew that they needed to do something drastic. At a meeting with the top brass of the Navy, Naval Captain Motoharu Okamura said:

In our present situation I firmly believe that the only way to swing the war in our favor is to resort to crash-dive attacks with our planes. There is no other way. There will be more than enough volunteers for this chance to save our country, and I would like to command such an operation. Provide me with 300 planes and I will turn the tide of war.

Amazingly, they agreed to his plan and gave him the planes he requested. Okamura retrofitted the planes to make them lighter by removing their machine guns, armor, and radios. They were also given bigger gas tanks and loaded with 550 pound bomb explosives. Now all Okamura needed was some pilots.

9. They Shamed People into Being Kamikaze Pilots

The biggest question surrounding kamikaze pilots is: how did they get people to do it? Well, they simply asked men to volunteer.

As for why someone would choose to die like this comes down to the culture of Japan. In Japan, shame is an important aspect of their society. So if a pilot was asked by a superior to volunteer and the pilot said, “No, I don’t want to die for my country,” it wouldn’t just bring shame to him, but to his entire family. Also, if someone did volunteer and he died, he would be promoted up two ranks.

So while kamikaze pilots were ‘volunteers’ they weren’t exactly given much of a choice. They could stay alive and shame themselves and their families in a prideful society, or die and be hailed as a hero who died for his country.

8. They Used Their Best Pilot For the First Run

When the Japanese Navy decided to form a kamikaze squadron, the first person they chose to be a part of it was one of their best young lieutenants, Yukio Seki, a newlywed 23-year-old. When they told him about the plan in September 1944, he supposedly said, “you absolutely must let me do this.” However, he supposedly told a reporter later that he thought it was a waste of his talents.

Over the next month, 23 other volunteers were gathered and trained. On October 20, 1944, Admiral Takijiro Onishi said:

Japan is in grave danger. The salvation of our country is now beyond the power of the ministers of the state, the General Staff, and lowly commanders like myself. It can come only from spirited young men such as you. Thus, on behalf of your hundred million countrymen, I ask of you this sacrifice and pray for your success.

You are already gods, without earthly desires. But one thing you want to know is that your own crash-dive is not in vain. Regrettably, we will not be able to tell you the results. But I shall watch your efforts to the end and report your deeds to the Throne. You may all rest assured on this point.

I ask you all to do your best.

Then the 24 pilots got into their aircraft and flew off to die. However, they didn’t encounter any American ships until their fifth day of flying. That’s when they finally came across American naval ships near Leyte, which is an island of the Philippines.

They surprised the Americans by flying directly into their ships and managed to sink one of the Navy’s most important vessels, an air craft carrier. After a plane hit the deck of the USS St. Lo it caused a series of internal explosions and it sank. The air craft carrier was carrying 889 men and out of them, 143 were killed or missing.

Besides sinking the mighty air craft carrier, the kamikaze pilots also managed to damage three other ships. The Japanese took this as a sign of success and decided to expand the kamikaze program.

7. The Japanese Designed a Plane Specifically for Kamikaze Missions

As we mentioned before, the Japanese’s Zeke planes weren’t really effective war planes. They didn’t exactly make the best flying bombs, either. Another problem was that you needed to train pilots to fly the Zekes and they had to be good enough pilots to even get close enough to a warship. Instead of just scraping the whole kamikaze program, the Japanese Navy decided to develop a plane that was specifically made for kamikaze missions called the Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka, or “Cherry Blossom.”

The Ohka was essentially a drivable missile; it was about 20 feet long with short wings. A problem with the Ohka was that it could only glide up to a distance of 20 miles. So each one needed to be carried by a Mitsubishi G4M bomber. Then once they were near their targets the Ohka would be released. Once the pilot got close to his target, he would start the three rocket boosters, and this allowed the planes to fly fast enough to avoid enemy fire and penetrate the armor of the ships.

Besides being a better flying bombs, the Ohkas were easier to pilot than Zeke planes. Pilots didn’t have to learn how to take off and land, they simply learned how to control the direction of the plane and once they got close, they would push the rocket boosters, so they didn’t have to learn how to maneuver.

The Ohka also had something that no other cockpit has ever had. That was a place behind the pilot’s head to place a samurai sword.

6. It Was Supposed to be Psychological Warfare

Clearly, the most important task of kamikaze pilots was to sink warships. However, there was an added benefit that they thought would help them on the battlefield, and that was that it would give them a psychological edge. The Japanese wanted to come across as fierce warriors who had no limits and would rather die than surrender.

Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t that effective. Not only did the American Navy clobber the Japanese Navy, but when the Japanese unleashed the Ohkas, the Americans nicknamed them “Baka” or “Baka Bomb,” which is Japanese for “fool” or “idiot.”

5. Torpedo Kamikaze Pilots

The Japanese fully embraced the kamikaze attacks and they didn’t just limit them to the sky. They also manufactured drivable torpedoes called kaiten.

How they worked is that the pilot would find a ship in his periscope. Then, using a stop watch and a compass, he basically had to blindly drive into the enemy ship. As you probably guessed, this wasn’t very easy to do and it took months to train pilots.

Another problem was that they were large and couldn’t be driven over long distances, so they had to be transported using a larger submarine. The “mother ship” would have to transport six or eight kaitens to the battles where they were needed.

On November 20, 1944, five kaitens were launched at the USS Mississinewa, which was an oiler. One of them struck it and the explosion was massive, as you can see in the video above. Since the explosion was so big, the Japanese thought they had sunk five ships instead of just one. As a result, the Navy considered the attack as a success and ramped up production of the kaiten.

4. The Nazi Suicide Squad

The Japanese weren’t the only members of the Axis who were desperate to turn to suicide bombers as a way to turn the war around. Near the end of the war, Germany also formed its own suicide squad, called the Leonidas Squadron. The squadron was suggested by Hannah Reitsch, a Nazi test pilot. Reitsch was twice awarded the Iron Cross and she came closer than any other German woman to seeing combat.

In 1944, while Reitsch was getting her second Iron Cross, she pitched the idea to Adolf Hitler. She wanted to put pilots into modified V-1 rockets loaded with explosives and use them as weapons. At first, Hitler didn’t like the idea, but later changed his mind because he liked Reitsch’s commitment to the idea, so he agreed to have planes designed for suicide missions. The aircraft was the Fieseler Fi 103R, which had the code name Reichenberg, and they V1 rockets loaded with 2,000 pound bombs.

Ristsch was assigned to the Leonidas Squadron and she was the first to swear its oath, which read, “I hereby voluntarily apply to be enrolled in the suicide group as a pilot of a human glider-bomb. I fully understand that employment in this capacity will entail my own death.”

Altogether, the squadron had about 70 volunteers, but in the end the program was scraped before any of the Reichenbergs were used.

As for Reitsch, she survived the war. Afterwards, she published her autobiography, and she was the director of the national school of gliding in Ghana. She died at the age of 65 in 1979 from a heart attack.

3. The Pilots Might Have Been High on Meth

Methamphetamine was actually invented in Japan in 1893. However, it didn’t become widely used until World War II by at least two members of the Axis. German forces used a form of meth called Pervitin and the Japanese used a drug called Philopon.

During the war, the Japanese stockpiled Philopon and gave them to their soldiers when they got too tired or hungry. However, the drug became particularly useful for kamikaze pilots. They needed to be sharp and alert while facing certain death. So before the pilots were sealed into their flying bombs and flown several hours to their death, the pilots were given high doses of Philopon. This would have kept them focused until they were needed. Also, meth has a tendency to raise aggression levels.

While this is one of the worst problems when dealing with addicts, this side effect would have been particularly useful in suicide bombers who had to fly through gunfire before hitting their targets and killing themselves.

2. The Last Kamikaze Pilot

After the creation of the kamikaze unit, Admiral Matome Ugaki was put in command of it. Months later, on August 15, 1945, the Emperor of Japan announced Japan’s surrender over the radio, and Ugaki decided he wanted to die the same way as his men – in a kamikaze mission.

Before Ugaki flew out, he posed for the above picture, and then climbed into the plane. The problem was that Ugaki didn’t know how to fly, so another pilot had to volunteer for the mission.

En route to his death, Ugaki relayed the following message over the radio:

I alone am to blame for our failure to defend the homeland and destroy the arrogant enemy. The valiant efforts of all officers and men of my command during the past six months have been greatly appreciated.

I am going to make an attack at Okinawa where my men have fallen like cherry blossoms. There I will crash into and destroy the conceited enemy in the true spirit of Bushido, with firm conviction and faith in the eternity of Imperial Japan.

I trust that the members of all units under my command will understand my motives, will overcome all hardships of the future, and will strive for the reconstruction of our great homeland that it may survive forever.

Long live His Imperial Majesty the Emperor!

Unfortunately for Ugaki, his mission was not successful and his plane was probably intercepted before it could reach its target.

1. It Wasn’t Very Effective

Clearly, the Japanese thought that kamikaze pilots were a good idea. However, in hindsight it was a pretty ineffective way to take on the strongest naval force of World War II.

In total, kamikaze pilots were only able to sink 51 ships and just one of those was an aircraft carrier, which was the first major battleship to be sunk by a kamikaze attack, theUSS St. Lo. Kamikaze pilots were also responsible for the deaths of 3,000 American and British men. However, when you compare that to the Japanese’s losses, it’s hard to believe that Japan was doing offensive tactics. In total, 1,321 Japanese planes and submarines crashed into American naval ships and over 5,000 pilots were killed in attempts.

Eventually, the American Navy simply overwhelmed the Japanese Navy because they had more men and superior planes and ships. Today, the kamikaze project is considered one of the biggest blunders of World War II.


Kamikaze Attack Facts

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– WIF at War

THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 75

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THE RETURN TRIP – Episode 75

CHAPTER FIVE

Change-up

“Queen Francine” – the egotistical, self-serving, superficial diva, has been bent on clawing to the top of the competitive field of broadcast journalism…

queen-of-hearts-carved-artwork

The Queen of Hearts Red Artwork carved from Mangowood

 Personality (noun)  per’son’al’i’ty

  1. somebody’s set of characteristics
  2. characteristics making someone appealing
  3. somebody regarded as epitomizing traits
  4. famous person
  5. unusual person
  6. quality of being person
  7. personal comment
  8. distinguishing characteristics 

ediitors-noteDefinition provided by Dictionary.com,

 

It would seem that the Francine Bouchette, before Roy Crippen met her, has these
traits……

  1. best friend is a mirror
  2. has a phantom fiancee
  3. co-anchors avoid if they can
  4. treats interns like indentured servants
  5. gives scriptwriters fits

……is not one and the same. Roy Crippen has yet to meet that woman, though he wonders about her obsession with “exclusives”.

Indeed, there is no reconciling the definition with the facts, though there is plenty Francine in the first. The dedicated, concerned, sacrificial person, currently operating in the name of humanitarian justice, now working with NASA, is dichotomous when placed side-by-side with the egotistical, self-serving, superficial diva, bent on clawing to the top of the competitive field of broadcast journalism.

Francine Bouchette is truly a personality in every sense of the word. But as she prepares to continue the fresh quest to aid in the rescue of Sampson & Celeste McKinney, mercilessly stranded on Mars, the least desirable aspects of “Queen Francine” have been tabled; at least for now {and longer if the rest of Houston gets a vote}.

***Contrast this with the following glimpse of what is going on inside, the otherwise thinkeroccupied, Roy Crippen’s analytical mind:

‘She is quite a lady. With her knack for getting to the heart of a story, I am surprised she’s not working for network news. She is ten times better than that Elle Fanning on Sixty Minutes. Boy, she tried do a piece on the Colony and by the time she was through asking dumb nonsensical questions or sticking her nose where it didn’t belong, I had had enough. The damnedest thing is that her misrepresentation of the project almost did as much damage as the accident that destroyed it… I wonder why she never married? She is as gutsy as they come, pretty as a picture and probably financially secure, what could be her downside?’

***The following is what Francine is thinking, during her time of frank introspection:

 ‘I’m not the person that I was yesterday, this whole experience with Roy has made me think, what kind of person is he looking to share the rest of his life with?… All the years I’ve wasted, mistreating everyone from United States Senators down to kids that may be looking up at her as role model…What has changed all of a sudden? Is it just because I am falling for some good looking science guy, probably goes to Star Trek Conventions and is what, 12 maybe 15 years older than me? What would people think? And how many people must I trample to get where I want?’

Enough of these long winded thoughts; it is time to focus on the successful launch of the new/improved deep-space New Mayflower!


THE RETURN TRIP

Image result for star trek conventions

Star Trek – The Next Generation

Episode 75


page 93

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Contents TRT

Kids These Days – Juvenile Like Button

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Celebrities Who Are

Absurdly Popular

with Kids

Kids like-001

These days there seems to be a lot of pushback against nostalgia culture. Anyone who talks about how great the entertainment was back when they were kids can expect quite a few people telling them just how lousy their childhood shows and music were. However right either group may be, while looking at today’s pop culture geared toward kids, try to imagine having to explain some of it to future generations.

Seems like it will be almost impossible, doesn’t it?

In the meantime, prepare to feel either embarrassed by how lame and non-lucrative your childhood was compared with some of these people, many of whom achieved stardom before most of us got our first paycheck, or extremely old because you really don’t understand how anyone could find this sort of content bearable, let alone something to watch obsessively.

Kids these days, right?

10. Angelina Jordan

When many people first saw Angelina Jordan performing, their first thought was “Amy Winehouse.” That’s because, as Snopes reported, one of her first videos went viral because many people shared it with a title claiming that itwas Amy Winehouse, performing “What a Difference a Day Makes” at age 10. In truth, the video was Jordan performing for Norwegian television in 2014, when she was only eight.

Since then, Jordan has completely stepped out from behind her early viral legacy as the girl everyone thought was Winehouse. Her website claims that videos of her performing have over one hundred million views on YouTube. Considering her hit videos, like her performance of Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon”, or her appearances on shows like The View, that seems a pretty believable claim. She has released a kid’s book (pretty much had to be, since she was only six when she wrote it) in Norwegian about two girls who “share a magical moment,” which her website claims is entitled “Between to Hearts” (presumably she meant “Two”). Hopefully all the pressure brought on by her success doesn’t mean she has anything like the tragic end that Winehouse did.

9. Madison Ziegler

Thirteen is a pretty young age to not only be one of the stars of a long-running television show, but to have your music videos be considered good enough in the music industry to be featured at the Grammy Awards, particularly for someone from Pittsburgh, of all places. That’s what Madison Ziegler has been able to achieve with the Lifetime television show Dance Moms, under the guidance of her mother Melissa Giosini. As of February 2016 she left the show and began work starring in a feature film directed by Sai, the same artist who directed her in the aforementioned music videos.

Although there have been polls which show that even the biggest film and television stars have to compete with YouTube celebrities for a decent online following, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Ziegler. The social media platform Instagram alone has provided her with six million followers. Seeing how many adults have just gotten the hang of using Facebook and Twitter, you can bet that it’s mostly teens and kids following her on there.

8. Robby Novak

Portraying the character “Kid President” for the YouTube channel Soulpancake (best known for being cofounded by The Office star Rainn Wilson) has been a pretty wild gig for 12-year-old actor Robby Novak. His first video as the character alone has more than 38 million views. He’s played opposite people ranging from Craig Robinson to President Barack Obama himself in his videos in the past three years. The content of his videos tends to be largely pep talk material, such as advising that parents hug their kids more often and yell at them less, or trying to promote feminism in the video “Awesome Girls.”

He achieved all this while suffering from a genetic weakness in his skeletal structure that leaves him with extremely brittle bones, which have been fractured dozens of times, and in February 2016 he underwent surgery to have a rod placed in his femur bone. So kid secret service will have to be on the lookout about that.

7. Harper Beckham

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Can you imagine hearing that your kids want a specific item of clothing because they saw a picture of the daughter of an athlete? Many parents out there don’t have to bother using their imaginations for that. All that has to happen is another picture of this four year-old be posted to Instagram (seemingly, mostly by her mother Victoria, someone who really goes crazy with the keyword tags) and a major fashion line will get a boost. You know who was just below her in this regard? Prince George.

At present there don’t seem to be any signs that the Beckhams are making any overt attempts to cash in on this. Even though Harper Beckham is already pretty demonstrably an effective model without trying in the slightest, there’s no talk of a Beckham fashion line, or anything like that. On one hand, it’s good that the Beckham’s aren’t exploiting their children in quite this way. On the other, with 25% of mothers admitting in a survey that they ended up buying some article of clothing after seeing Harper or her siblings wearing it, it can’t help but seem like something of a waste.

6. DC Toys Collector

This celebrity is actually something of an enigmatic figure, and some media analysts theorize that the fact she’s so hard to identify is what makes her so appealing to such a large quantity of children. After all, she’s a complete mystery but still has over seven million subscribers. All we ever see of this person, who makes millions of dollars a year from all the ad revenue opening toy packaging, is her hands, which were noted for being “well-manicured.” All the audience can make out about her is that she has a fairly pleasant voice (albeit a little on the high-pitched side) and that she’s fine with doing voices for all her toy characters instead of just dryly reviewing them. A single video of her talking about making clay dresses for Disney princess dolls has over four hundred million views, which would be respectable for a music video from a chart-topping talent. Despite this success, she felt the need to change her channel’s name to “FunToyzCollector.”

That said, parents should be advised that this is not suitable viewing for children. Not because she says anything obscene or has any joke videos where she reviews adult toys. But if a picture of Harper Beckham’s child can make kids want a piece of clothing enough to convince many of their parents to buy them, just imagine how insistent for new toys they’ll be after watching these videos!

5. Stampy

These days it seems like playing the highly successful indie game Minecraft is much less popular among kids than watching someone else play it. One 25-year-old from the UK named Joseph Garrett has enjoyed truly bewildering success with that craze by way of his cat character known both as Stampylongnose and Stampy Longhead. The character seems basically the exact opposite of the popular comic strip character Garfield, in that he doesn’t have the least bit of attitude or edge to him. If that sounds a touch banal, by and large kids certainly don’t seem to think so, given that this channel of a blocky but kid-friendly character has garnered more than seven million subscribers.

Despite how crazy lucrative his career as a cubical cat has been (some rumors estimate it’s good for about 200,000 pounds a year), Garrett has not been the most aggressive chaser of personal fame or the most social of butterflies. He claims that he mostly hangs out with other vloggers, and it’s reportedly somewhat difficult to get him to agree to do an interview. Hard to tell if that’s just a matter of personal taste or if he wants to seem kid-friendly behind the scenes, too.

4. Jared and Evan

YouTube isn’t just good for making money off of the eager eyeballs of children: it’s also good for kids themselves to make money in some cases. EvantubeHD shows that kids can also make bank on YouTube with just a bit of guidance from their parents. Jared (last name withheld to protect his family’s privacy) is the father of now 10-year-old Evan, the main face of this toy, costume, candy, etc. reviewing channel. While at 2.9 million subscribers the channel doesn’t yet provide serious competition for the Stampys and DC Toy Collectors of YouTube, it still pulls in an estimated $1.3 million a year (that figure being an estimate by Evan, though, and possibly not reliable). Pretty good for a channel riding on a 10-year-old. Even if that amount is accurate, it apparently wasn’t enough for this family, and they spun off a second channel for videotaping daily events and reviewing video games.

Despite the spinoff channel, it should be noted that the family is not really greedy. They make sure to donate the toys they review to charity and do the same with a substantial portion of their income. Whatever you may think of a channel where one of the most successful attractions is watching a kid eat a huge gummy worm, there’s definitely a lot of good that came of it.

3. David Walliams

Even though this list is dominated by YouTube and Instagram celebrities, traditional media is alive and well. Representing it for our purposes is one of the most followed authors on Twitter (1.6 million followers strong), which is no surprise since he’s one of the most famous authors of children’s books today, David Walliams. A UK survey found that his book Demon Dentist was more popular among primary school students than JK Rowling’s books that need not be named, which is just amazing. Part of his fame, admittedly, is due to his controversial, debatably homophobic presence on Britain’s Got Talent, but that’s still major reach with child audiences.

As the title Demon Dentist implies, Walliams basically tries to inject the edge into his books that Joseph Garrett actively avoids for Stampy. He also has to his name books like Gangsta Granny, Awful Auntie, and Ratburger. Might not be the most sophisticated things for children to read but still, it gets their noses out of YouTube for awhile.

2. Dane Boedigheimer

For many of the entertainers featured in this list, it’s hard for an adult to understand the appeal. In this case, kids seem to like it just to spite adults that have to listen to it in the background. Dane Boedigheimer is known, beloved, and obsessively viewed by millions of children all over the world as the eyes, mouth, and voice of Annoying Orange. Basically the character’s routine was that he would pester a nearby animated food item until something came along and killed its companion. His channel reached a billion views even back in 2012 thanks to its core audience of 8-to-13 year-olds.

As a result, Boedignheimer got a show for two seasons on Cartoon Network. But really the only place kids were willing to watch the kid-friendly – and onlykid-friendly – character was on YouTube, and among general audiences it was such a bomb that IMDb users on average gave it only 2.7 out of 10. Not that something that popular could be killed off that easily. Boedignheimer just returned his focus to the YouTube channel, which now has more than five million subscribers.

1. Pewdiepie

In the past six years, the videos of 26-year-old Swede Felix Kjellberg screaming at video games have made him the most popular entertainer on YouTube, with tens of millions of subscribers that have provided more than eight billion views. His loud, often gibberish-laden “Let’s Play” commentary seem to really connect with young audiences, but it’s also gotten him in a bit of trouble for not being what the mainstream media traditionally thinks of as suitable for a young audience (though his view counts imply it’s actually exactly what kids want). He has repeatedly apologized for the language in his videos and mainstream critics like Variety have repeatedly bashed his videos for their “aggressive stupidity.”

But on the more positive side, he has, like Evan’s family, backed numerous charity projects such as Charity Water and Save the Children. These efforts have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, well beyond expectations. Still, it’s not an accident that TopTenz did not list his as one of the top ten gaming channels.


Kids These Days

– Juvenile Like Button

 

Real-Life Cops – Modern Day Action Heroes

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RealLifeActionHeroes

Real-Life Cops Turning

Into Action Heroes

When we see cops in the news, it’s usually in the context of something bad. The shooting of an unarmed witness. Alleged corruption. Even an attack on cops themselves. But there’s another, less reported side to our boys in blue. Plenty of cops are living their lives like 1980s action heroes.

We don’t just mean these guys are heroic. They are. What we mean is they are so heroic you can picture them being played by Bruce Willis, when Bruce Willis still had hair. Fed up with news stories portraying cops as bad guys? Check out the tales of these real-life action heroes.

10. David Muniz Talks Down a Guy Who Shot Him in the Chest

muniz

Plenty of cops risk taking a bullet in their line of work. It takes a special kind of cop to take that bullet, then carry right on policing as if nothing had happened. Meet that cop: David Muniz was responding to a domestic violence call in 2015 when he encountered a very drunk, very angry guy wielding a pistol. The guy politely listened to Muniz’s call to lower his weapon, then raised that weapon and shot Muniz right in the chest.

 At this point, most similar stories would take on a somber air as we told you about Muniz’s tragic sacrifice. This isn’t most stories. Instead of dropping down dead or going into shock, the wounded Muniz calmly tried to talk the guy who’d just shot him into surrendering his weapon.

It’s the sort of scenario you’d dismiss in a Hollywood movie as ‘too unrealistic’. In considerable pain, Muniz gently tried to talk his would-be murderer into putting his gun down, even saying at one point “we don’t want to kill you.” Like all movie villains, the guy didn’t listen. He went for his gun again. Muniz got there first and blew him away.

9. Mario Gutierrez’s Fistfight on a Flaming Forecourt 

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In 2013, would-be mass killer Dominique Jean went crazy and set fire to a gas station forecourt in Florida. His intention was to blow the whole thing up and take a whole load of people with him. Officer Mario Gutierrez just happened to be passing and in the mood to hand out an ass-kicking. He took one look at this madman walking through a sea of fire toward the highly explosive underground tanks and jumped right on in.

What followed was like the climax to a Lethal Weapon flick. Surrounded by fire, Gutierrez charged headlong into Jean, knocking him to the ground. Unfortunately for the officer, his enemy was armed to the teeth. Jean repeatedly stabbed Gutierrez with a gigantic knife, causing him devastating injuries. Yet Gutierrez kept right on fighting. Every time Jean tried to leave his bloodied corpse and make a bee-line for the gas tanks, Gutierrez got right back to his feet and tackled him down again. Eventually, surrounded by an inferno, the officer finally managed to deliver a knockout punch. The score that day: Gutierrez 1, Forces of Darkness 0.

8. Donald Thompson Jumps Into a Burning Car

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When most of us see a car explode into flames, our first instinct is to get as far away from it as humanly possible. Not Officer Donald Thompson. Thompson was out on patrol in LA one day when he saw a car career out of control and smash into a wall. It then reacted like a car in Grand Theft Auto, bursting into flames, its driver trapped inside. Thompson calmly approached the crumpled vehicle, wrenched open the door and climbed into the boiling inferno.

It was the sort of fire not even an action hero could escape from unscathed, and Thompson suffered horrifying first and second degree burns. Yet he kept right on with his single-minded rescue mission, cutting the driver from their seat and hauling them to safety. He did it just in time, too. No sooner was Thompson clear than the flames engulfed the entire car, turning it into a burning death-cage from which no one could ever have escaped. Like the total boss he was, Thompson shrugged off his death-defying insanity as all in a day’s work.

7. James Beaton Goes Man on Fire on a Kidnapper

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Inspector James Beaton is a British police officer with an impressive claim to fame. In the 1970s, he managed to single-handedly stop a crazed kidnapper from abducting a member of the Royal Family. Beaton was on bodyguard duty when Princess Anne’s car bumped into another vehicle. They pulled over and the driver of the other vehicle got out. Thinking he was just an irate motorist, Beaton stepped out to calm him down. The driver pulled a gun and shot him in the shoulder.

The driver was Ian Ball, an unemployed lone gunman with a history of mental problems. For all Beaton knew, though, this was an IRA kidnap attempt and he was about to wind up very dead. Judging by his following actions, it was a sacrifice he was willing to make.

Beaton’s own gun had jammed. When Ball went for the Princess, Beaton dived in front of her. Good thing he did, as Ball fired again, shattering Beaton’s hand with the bullet. Ball then fired again, this time hitting Beaton square in the chest. The Princess’s bodyguard collapsed to the ground. Ball had won.

Or not. Beaton’s heroic actions had bought just enough time for another policeman to arrive on the scene, along with a former boxer who just happened to be passing by. Although Ball gunned down the other policeman, he couldn’t stop the boxer’s fist. Ball went down like a sack of potatoes. Like all invincible action heroes, Beaton completely recovered from his injuries.

6. Don Hull Hulks Out

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On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh exploded a gigantic fertilizer bomb underneath the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, 19 of whom were children. That grim body count could have been even higher were it not for Don Hull.

A former DEA agent turned officer, Hull just happened to be a few blocks away when the gigantic explosion levelled the building. While most of us would probably have responded by screaming and running for cover, most of us aren’t Don Hull. Faced with the screams of children buried beneath the rubble, Hull’s latent hero genes kicked in, transforming him into the Incredible Hull-k.

Armed with nothing more than his bare hands, Hull raced to the ruined building and started digging through the rubble. He single-handedly shifted a whole foot of the stuff in seconds, pulling a badly-wounded baby from the wreckage. He then ran like a speed demon to the nearest emergency responders. His actions saved the young boy’s life. Fast forward to 2016, and little Joseph Webber (the little boy in his arms in the photo above) is now a fully grown college student and artist who owes everything to Don Hull, supercop.

5. Liang Xiao’s Suicidal Suicide-Stopping Dive

liang

Chinese cops are just like their counterparts everywhere else. They get little thanks, low pay, and have to deal with all sorts of difficult situations. Oh, and they also have a tendency towards crazy levels of heroism, as Liang Xiao’s encounter with a suicidal man shows.

Xiao and his partner had been called out to deal with a suicidal man in Nankang Town, Beihai City. The man was standing on the fourth floor of an unfinished building and threatening to end it all. Pretty much the moment Xiao got there, he jumped. Xiao’s borderline-insane instinctive response? He leaped into the guy’s path, using his own body as a freakin’ human cushion.

In most worlds, this story would end with the phrase “and both were tragically killed.” Since this is a story of amazing hero cops, though, you can probably guess what happened next. The guy somehow survived his suicidal fall. Not only that, but Xiao survived, too. Although the guy crashed down on Xiao’s head, somehow the impact was softened enough to save both their lives. The guy escaped with minor bruises. Xiao’s only injuries came from his testicles immediately swelling up to a gargantuan size befitting such a total badass.

4. Marian Godina is a One Man Anti-Corruption Unit

godina

In Romania, cops and corruption sadly go together like Kardashians and trashy headlines, or July 4th and drunkenness. Even when the ordinary guys on the beat are honest, the system is so endemically corrupt that their superiors will let well-connected criminals get away with anything. Except, these days, for traffic crimes. The reason? An on-the-beat traffic cop named Marian Godina has single-handedly given corruption a public kicking.

Godina is just an ordinary cop, with one difference. He hates corruption. Like, hates it. If corruption were an evil Empire laying waste to Romania, then Godina would be the Rebel Alliance – repeatedly shooting torpedoes down its exhaust vent. After his superiors let one too many bad guys go, Godina came up with a plan. He took to Facebook and began publically naming and shaming all of those involved. In Romania, such honesty should have got him fired from his job. Instead, it made him a national hero.

Godina’s crusade became so popular that when his superiors tried to take his page down, ordinary Romanians took to the streets and threatened to riot. Faced with a popular revolt, the establishment backed off, leaving Godina to mercilessly crack down on corruption in his department like a non-violent, Romanian Batman. At time of writing, he’s even inspired imitators in other departments. If that’s not an inspiring Lifetime movie in the making, we don’t know what is.

3. Colonel Hugo Martinez is the Colombian Elliot Ness

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Elliot Ness is lauded in the USA for taking on crime kingpin Al Capone. If Ness had seen half the stuff Colonel Hugo Martinez did, he’d have probably chucked in the towel. Martinez is the guy the Colombian government charged with taking down Pablo Escobar.

 It was 1990, and Escobar was probably the richest, baddest guy on Earth. His Medellin Cartel was pumping so much cocaine into the USA that Escobar needed a vast complex of warehouses just to store all his paper dollars. His cronies were setting off bombs in Bogota, had brought down an entire airliner – killing 110 people – just to assassinate one man, and spread so much corruption through Colombia that the country was on the verge of becoming a failed state. Any police officers who stood up to Escobar were usually killed and their entire families murdered. Colonel Martinez in the special operations branch knew all this. And still he decided to take on Escobar.

What followed would make The Untouchables look like Sesame Street. Martinez’s family apartment was bombed. His own cadets were bribed to assassinate him. His food was poisoned. Escobar personally threatened to kill his whole family, then dig up the graves of his ancestors and shoot their bodies before reburying them. Yet Martinez would finally get the last laugh. It was he who led the team that shot Escobar dead on a Medellin rooftop on Dec 2, 1993. Against all the odds, Martinez had gone toe to toe with incomprehensible evil and survived.

2. Kevin Philippy Knows With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

kung fu cop

When hard-left French rioters surrounded the cop car, set fire to it and readied their weapons, they probably assumed the officers inside would die. They’d even prepared a sign offering ‘roast chicken’ (‘chicken’ being French slang for cops). They hadn’t counted on Kevin Philippy. Known to his colleagues as the ‘Kung Fu Cop’ (which sounds like a great, or terrible, movie), Philippy calmly stepped out his flaming car and proceeded to show those demonstrators how a real man rolls.

One of the activists grabbed an iron bar and came running at Philippy, swinging for his head. Using his ninja-level jujitsu, Philippy dodged the blows without breaking a sweat. With unhurried movements, he stepped around or deflected each blow, leaving his attacker wheezing for air and looking like the biggest dumbass in town.

At this point, you’re probably expecting to hear that Philippy then unloaded on those morons. While it would serve them right, the real story is way classier. Philippy turned to the other demonstrators and casually unhooked his gun. A moment of extreme tension followed. Then Philippy slowly smiled, gestured his partner and sauntered off, leaving the rioters confused and looking stupid. The message was clear: you idiots aren’t worth my time. For his absolute dedication to laconic badassery, Philippy became a French hero.

 1. Wasil Ahmad Becomes a Badass Cop (Aged 10)

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Although he was only 10 at the time, Wasil Ahmad had more cojones than many cops twice or three times his age. Conscripted in his remote Afghan town of Uruzgan when the country started sliding to hell, Ahmad did something so brave we can’t believe we’re even writing about it. Wasil Ahmad was the 10-year old cop who took on the Taliban.

The context was a terrifying 43-day siege. The Taliban had surrounded one of the last government buildings left in the province, trapping many people inside. Ahmad was among them. But rather than doing what most 10-year olds would do, he decided to take the fight to the extremists. Tooling up with heavy weaponry, Ahmad proceeded to fight alongside his police colleagues, using mortars, machine guns and grenades to wreak vengeance on the scumbags who’d ruined his country.

 Incredibly, it worked. Thanks to the efforts of Ahmad and his Afghan police buddies, the Taliban were driven out of their province. Almost. Unfortunately, this story has a tragic end. In early 2016, two Taliban stooges ambushed Ahmad while he was walking to school. Like the evil monsters they are, the gunmen shot the 10-year old dead. Sometimes, sadly, in a place as brutal as Afghanistan, even the biggest heroes don’t get a Hollywood ending.

Real-Life Cops

Everyday Heroes

– Modern Day Action Heroes

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #282

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #282

…Sara Fenwick knows nothing, has nothing to hide and is simply missing body organs and part of her brain…

My Project 19-001

And then there is the matter of the illusive Sara Fenwick. This one needs no thespian skills in relating her experiences. She does not remember a thing, period. As far as this seamstress-turned-globetrotter is concerned, she just wants to get back for Christmas (1941), even though it’s really 1947.

The same high-ranking officers that questioned Lyn have come to the realization just how futile any interrogation of this enigma would be. She knows nothing, has nothing to hide and is simply missing body organs and part of her brain.

“We will be leaving soon, Sara, I promise,” assures her friend. “Bob Ford is coming back for us.”Blue Ridge Angel-001

“There isn’t any water in the middle of the desert,” Sara correctly observes.

“He has a different airplane, hon. Remember I told you that he and I came from New York to confirm that you were really alive?”

“Of course I’m alive, silly.” She looks at herself in a mirror approvingly. “I don’t feel like I’m 50.”

          “And I feel like I’ve caught up and passed you.”

          “You truly are mad, Lyn. I will always be five years older than you, not that I wouldn’t mind shaving those years off.”

          “I guess always is not as permanent as it used to be.”

          “You haven’t stopped loving me, have you – is that the “always” you are talking about?”

          “Just ignore me, Sara, I’m getting used to having you around again.”

          “Boy, I step out for a breath of fresh air and the whole world goes bonkers!”

  For now, they must rely on the hospitality of strangers and hope that Jupiter and Mars can possibly realign.


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Stray Souls (game) – Stolen Memories

Episode #282


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #280

…Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze…

Twiilight in a Daze by emedina13.deviantart.com

“Excuse my oversight, folks, but this case has me baffled. I used to think my name was Ben Wright, now I’m not sure.” He instructs the guards, “Tell the attendants to bring the patient.”

Female headshot-001One minute later a gaunt figure, with flat drab hair and an even more drab expression, flanked by two burly women/aides, come into the room. Bob Ford stares first at the mystery woman, then at Lyn for signs of recognition from either side. There is none. It appears he has dragged Carolyn Hanes across the arrow-downcountry for nothing.

“Do either of you recognize this woman? Could she have been a passenger aboard the Pacific Clipper, the one you reported missing?”

Ford shrugs, Lyn is near tears, and before they can say boo, the word Clipper snaps Jane Doe out of her persistent daze. “When are we leaving Captain Ford?” She says out of the blue. “Did you have a good time with that Lady, lady?” The second question is directed at Lyn, who walks up to the woman to take a closer look into her eyes. The essence of the woman she thought lost, has moved into her pupils and iris.

“Sara!” Lyn is moved, but can only move back to her seat, fearing the fragile figure in front of her.

“Did you take a picture of her when you found her?” Ford still is not convinced this is one and the same. Sara Fenwick would be 56 years old now. This woman is not.

Psychiatrist Wright opens his file, producing a photograph taken the morning after they found her standing like a statue, where she had no business being. The same blue dress, jacket cut low enough for a pretty good look at her ample breasts.

“Well, I’ll be damned, that’s her!” He points to the photo, but still cannot connect the two.

“Do you know how many morons stepped on my feet, Lyn? I felt like a rag doll, so I decided to go for a walk. Sorry I didn’t tell you where I went, but let’s go to bed. We have a big day in front of us.”

All in the room are stunned. It seems that Wright wasn’t wrong after all.

“There has been no stream of consciousness for the two weeks we’ve had her. It seems you have

Omar the Tentmaker 1929 Thomas FRIEDENSEN

Omar the tent-maker
1929
Thomas FRIEDENSEN

found the “on” switch.”

“Get me out of these horrid clothes. Who designed them, Omar the Tentmaker?”

arrow-up “It is she, Doctor Wright! Only Sara would invoke the name of Omar. He’s not a tentmaker, but being a seamstress and designer, she hates his designs, says they make women look thirty pounds heavier than they really are.”

“Who is Babe Ruth?” Sergeant Smith poses for further verification, albeit to trick German spies.

“A candy bar?” That is her answer.

“Ah ha! She’s not who she pretends to be.”

“This isn’t the war, Vince and what would a dressmaker know about baseball? Now let’s be serious.”

“I’m hungry, what’s for breakfast?”

“We haven’t been able to get her to eat solid food! Give her whatever she wants.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

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Episode #280


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