Saturday, March 31, 2007
Their scientific names are Tsaagan mangas, and Shanag ashile. Ooooh...!
Oh, and by the way...Michael J. Ryan may be have a Ph.D., and I don't, but a "raptor" is technically a bird. The word dromaeosaurid should be used. I know, he's just using a "common" term (popularized by the film Jurassic Park), but I'm picky.
Disclaimer 101 for PALAEOBLOG.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Just what I need today! I'm sick, achey, tired, and hungry. I'm going to be a lethargic toad all day long, and probably tommorrow too. What's even more annoying is that I have to miss work again, and will get demerit points for calling in sick. Yuck.
I was just sick like just over a month ago...I've like never been sick two times in a row this close together! I guess that's what I get for not using my hand sanitizer at work enough.... ;-)
So if you don't see me around, this is why. :-D I wonder if I'll feel good enough to fiddle with my Legos...hmmm, sounds good.... ;-P
Spencer the Sick One!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
With their entire army cut in two, Jackson pressing on what remained of their right flank, Longstreet barreling into their crumpled left, and the rest of the Rebels driving them back and pouring over the central bridges which cross the Antietam and smashing into their retreating center, Union commander George McClellan issued the command for "...an orderly retreat." Apparently either not heeding or not receiving the order, almost every unit of the entire Union army was driven into utter disorder, in many units even to the point of rout. The once-proud Army of the Potomac was now spread across Frederick County, powerless to stop J.E.B. "Jeb" Stuart and the rest of the Southern cavalry from galloping about as they pleased, attacking any bluecoats they laid eyes on. The casualties for the Army of the Potomac, were accurately estimated at 19,200 (plus another 4,000 prisoners) opposed to the nearly 9,000 dead and wounded of the Army of Northern Virginia.
Due to the heavy casualties, Lee's army rested for the rest of September and nearly all of October, utilizing this time of seeming inactivity to prepare for a full-fledged drive on Washington itself. The long wait has been subject to much criticism over the years, but was entirely warranted, and, indeed, was even unavoidable, for the Rebel forces were so very fatigued, exhausted, and low on supplies that it was altogether unfit to finish the job which it had started. So, the Union army was allowed to regroup. The authorities at Washington sent most of Sedgewick's Division (which had been garrisoned at the capital) to Middletown (between South and Catoctin mountains) to act as a nucleus to the reforming army (rendering the capital guarded by only the tattered Division of I.B. Richardson of Sumner's 2nd Corps). McClellan was able to avoid the angry fist of President Lincoln only by blaming his Corps commander, Gen. Burnside. Burnside himself was relieved of command and succeeded by his next-in-line subordinate, Maj.-Gen. J.L. Reno.
The Confederate army contented itself with winning small victories and capturing supplies, until the time came for the drive on the Northern capital. Engaging and driving back small outposts of Federalists, the Rebels made it all the way to Braddock Heights on the 5th of November, but, due to a skillful round-about march and the fact that General J.E.B. Stuart and his cavalry, the "eyes and ears of the army", was on a reconnaissance raid near Washington (not to mention that, to the North of the Confederate Army's encampment, were some very dense woods, and it was this that the Union foe marched behind), the Yankees were enabled to position themselves on a ridge with long, low, downwards-sloping ends with a smaller ridge on top of it. Crowned in the center of this smaller ridge was a small, but sharply rising hill. This provided the ground for the Federal position. In their rear rose Catoctin Mountain, which made it all the more difficult for the numerically inferior Confederate troops to storm the position since they would be forced to fight uphill. To the left of the smaller ridge and its little hill (later known as "Bloody Knob") were positioned the 1st, the 9th, and the 12th Corps. Part of the 9th and all of the 12th were hidden behind the forestry (the 12th Corps being partially curved backwards towards their own rear to prevent a flanking maneuver). To their right, lay the 5th and 6th Corps (the 4th Corps being held in reserve).
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Recently I got the idea to post a short story that I wrote for my local fair last year (I will likely do it in around ten periodic installments or so). It deals with the American Civil War, is an alternative history (see below), and centers around one main character, a Confederate private. Allow me a few brief notes to prepare the reader....
First off, does anyone know what alternative history is? Alternative history is a kind of fiction, usually intended to be thought-provoking. It entails a historian or creative writer writing what amounts to historical fiction, but changing some major events in history (for instance, if the Axis forces won the Second World War), and showing what they think the end result might be.
My story is mostly intended for entertainment, but to incur thinking would be a welcome plus. This style of writing, as utilized by myself, is not intended to dishonor God by "rewriting" history and the will of Providence. Instead, I think it would be better to consider this (and other alternative histories) as enhancing the understanding of that particular event, and thus, enhancing one's knowledge of the event.
As to overall accuracy, this is the note that I included in the writing entry when I submitted it:
'A note about historical accuracy: I have endeavored to the best of my ability to make this story as historically accurate as possible. The events from the battle of Antietam on are fictional to a degree and the entire premise of this story is allegorical in nature, but I have attempted to make it as believeable as possible (e.g., actual unit organization is retained, etc.). The allegories posited here are meant to provide a good, entertaining storyline, and to make the reader think of the consequences of even "small" events in the course of history. All historical inaccuracies contained herein are solely the fault of the author.' The unit organizations were obtained from From Manassas to Appomattox, by James Longstreet (the famous Confederate General, and a character in the story) which proved to be much like a Godsend for this project.
Also, some readers may find the initial subject matter...a little difficult. That is not meant as an insult or anything of the sort or even an exaltation of myself, but I have seen some people have difficulty with heavy military strategy. The beginning of the story is permeated with some meaty strategy material, but if you find this difficult, don't worry. It'll pass soon!
Another point I should make deals with the "violence" in the story. There is a bit of described gore, and although this doesn't bother me at all, someone who has difficulty with this kind of thing may not like it. In another scene, I purposely went for the disturbing factor, trying to give the feel of one of the disturbing circumstances so commonly found in war. Be forewarned!
I often have trouble with blogger and formatting, so if there's some apparent "sloppiness", it isn't me!
And finally, one of my readers will be very interested by a main part of the story. It appears in the first sentence. To be honest, thius coincidence was entirely accidental at the time, and I didn't realize it until later!
Please enjoy the story! And now...
A month and a half earlier, on September 17th, the two armies had met near a town called Sharpsburg, by the creek known as the Antietam. The Confederates were outnumbered, but this was usual for the Confederacy's armies. There, a bloody struggle would turn out in favor of the young "rebel" nation. Battling the enemy over what would come to be known as the "Burnside Bridge", the Ninth Corps of the Army of the Potomac under Maj.-Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside endeavored pugnaciously to win and maintain a foothold on the West (Confederate-held) bank of the Antietam. Opposing him just as tenaciously (if not more so) was Confederate Maj.-Gen. James Longstreet's Corps. Holding Maj.-Gen. Jones's Division in reserve, Longstreet's men (headed by the 4th Ala. Regiment under Lieut.-Col. O.K. McLemore, of Law's Brigade, Hood's Division), under direct order from Robert E. Lee, poured over the bridge under supporting fire from Col. Lee's nearby artillery Battalion, discharging volley after volley into the wavering blue lines. As more and more of a foothold on the Eastern bank was gained, and more and more Federalists were routed, eventually Burnside's entire Corps was in full flight. Longstreet then ordered up Jones's reserve Division to continue pressing the attack as the rest of his Corps re-organized. The small time allowed the Union foe to possibly regroup was not taken advantage of. The fleeing soldiers panicked all who they came into contact with, rendering even unengaged regiments useless, and in utter confusion.
Monday, March 26, 2007
To understand why we used the atomic bomb, eventually dropping it on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have to understand the position of the Japanese at that time. Our troops were island-hopping in the Pacific theater, taking island after island. Our bombers soon were able to bomb the main island Japan with ease due to nearby airstrips on islands like Iwo Jima.
This fighting, near the end of the war, also showed we Americans something. The Japanese soldiers were being ordered to sit, wait, and then die. Mass casualties were resulting, on both sides. Their leaders would rather commit seppuku and spill their own innards rather than admit defeat at the hands of the Americans. Suicidal banzai charges and kamikaze pilots were the thing of the day. The old ties of Bushido and the twisted version of honor still pervaded Japanese culture to the very core....
And these little islands and positions were tiny compared to the four main islands of Japan. This fight was going to be hard. Japan wasn't about to surrender it seemed. The end result: Japan would just have to be invaded and taken by sheer force.
American strategists planned for a brutal and costly invasion of Japan to finally end this (I actually have a de-classified document that outlines these very plans). Operation Ketsu-Go, the Japanese side of the plan, involved some very...dark elements.
The reason why most object to the killing of civilians is that civilians, whether or not they sympathize with the enemy cause, are noncombatants. But what happens when they become combatants? This is happening all over the world in this very day and age. The world's terrorists will not even hesitate to use children in their evil, murderous schemes.
But were the Japanese civilians becoming combatants? The grim answer is, yes. The Imperialist government of Emperor Hirohito (grandson of Emperor Meiji, famous for putting down the samurai for good and establishing a newer form of government during the period called the "Meiji Restoration", and thus creating the Imperialist Japan that would later become what the world faced in the Second World War). The Emperor's vile government were forming military militia groups out of women, and even children, arming them with anything, even bamboo pikes. I recently heard of an instance where one Japanese child, only 12 years old, was taught to be prepared to dive under American tanks with a satchel charge (that is, a bomb-like explosive device) and detonate it, hopefully damaging the tank in question.
A line had been crossed. Civilians were now combatants. They were being treated as troops, so they had to be viewed as troops.
What choice did we have? The invasion of Japan would have been so costly it likely would have been one of the most gruesome events in the history of all humanity.
Thus, with these facts in mind, we used the dreadful technology that we had acquired. And we used it with effect. The Japanese surrendered on September 2nd, 1945 (my great-grandfather was present at the signing of the treaty), ending the war that had lasted so long, and cost the world so much. Millions of lives were saved by the killing of thousands. American lives. Even Japanese lives. Isn't it better to kill only a few by an atomic bomb, than all of them by conventional means? Isn't it better to save the patriot blood of our own brave soldiers?
Thus is the gruesome nature of war...it is all ugly. It has no pretty side.
Still, part of me dislikes women and children suffering ("innocent" or not). I'm still not 100% sure....
"It is worth noting in the tragic Utah shooting incident that because one man was prepared, he saved the lives of untold people. Ken Hammond was having dinner with his wife when he heard gun shots. He jumped to his feet, and stopped the killer. We don’t know what would have happened had Ken Hammond not been there and prepared to defend the innocent. What we do know is that out of a mall full of people one man displayed the indispensable quality of being always ready and stopped the killer in his tracks. Hammond, an off duty police officer saw it as his duty to defend. Every father in America should take their role as protectors just as seriously."
Amen to that.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
They took them on the Shatt-al-Arab!?!?! That river is formed when the Euphrates and Tigris merge, right by Al-Basrah, where the British base in Iraq is...they were in Iraqi waters!
We have Delta Force, Army Rangers, the cream of the crop. England is sure to have Spec. Ops. troops as well...why don't we use them now? So what if it means war? Are the civilized nations of the world going to let their men be treated this way? War with Iran may prove as difficult as has been suggested and the effects may seem disastrous, but are we really going to sit down on this one?
Iran, you've been picking on the wrong countries.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Today I was supposed to only work from 4-8 (it's after 10 right now), but there was a little...event at the workplace. ;-D
The "DM" (District Manager) dropped by for a visit...and since the employee that was supposed to arrive in my department (the Home Department) at 6:00 had called out, I had to stay until almost nine. I guess that they can't close department's down when the DM is out and about...even though things were deathly dull today.
It's actually rather funny when she comes...everyone straigtens up, works hard, things like that. :-D When I was told that she was coming, my eyes grew wide, and I said, "Back to work!" and hurrying back over to start looking busy. (I'm not quite sure what I did all day...but at least I looked busy. ;-P) I told another co-worker that she was there (actually, I told others too...a heads-up is always nice...when the DM comes, it's like a Colonel suddenly into an army camp), and she said had a similar reaction. Whenever she comes, it creates a bit of a disturbance...at least in how we employees (or no, we are called "Associates" now...blah) feel, or at least me. :-P
That was your boring tidbit in the boring life of Me today....
Digging Dinosaur Discovered Inside Fossil Den
Photo in the News: Triceratops' "Granddaddy" Discovered in Canada
Photo in the News: Jurassic "Crocodile" Found in Oregon
Salamander Tongue Is World's Most Explosive Muscle
Jumbo Squid, Sperm Whale Study Reveals How the Giant Creatures Feed, Hunt
Photo in the News: Young Whip Spiders Stay in Touch
[Oh, I just had to make it clear...these guys aren't technically spiders. It's just a common name. ;-P]
Dr. Paleo Ph.D.
P.S. And it's probably about time to remind everyone of Disclaimer 101. ;-)
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Fast Food Infestation! A Lego Vignette
Charge! A Lego "Joe Vig" Vignette
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Three men go into an Irish pub. One is an Englishman, one is Scottish, and the third is Irish. They all get a glass of ale, one each. Suddenly three flies buzz into the room, and one fly each dives into their drinks. The Britishman, disgusted, shoves the entire glass away, not wanting anything to do with it. The Scottish man reaches in, pulls out the fly, and continues drinking. The Irishman reaches in, pulls the fly out, holds it up to eye level and shouts at it angrily, "Spit it out, spit it out, spit it out!"
So? Was that not the funniest joke ever? Okay...never mind.... :-P
Friday, March 16, 2007
But look where I am!!!!!!
And ON TOP of Steve Bishop, too! Shocking...
To celebrate this annual occasion, I decided to create everyone's favorite Irishman, St. Patrick, in Legos! As for the scene to put him in, what's better than him driving all the snakes out of the Emerald Isle?
The cloak is pretty much a standard AFOL technique. Everything else is of my own design. Enjoy the vignette! I sure enjoyed creating it!
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci
The whole, green gallery:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Happy birthday, Einstein!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The Private War of Woman Soldiers
The Co-Ed Army: Sending Daughters to Live in a Frathouse
Feedback on Women in the Military Blog Post
So help me, if they ever try to draft women....
(I understand that this could be somewhat offensive to some of my readers, but that is not my intent.)
Monday, March 12, 2007
Check 'em out!
Report # 9516 (Class A)
Woman recalls childhood sighting outside a cottage in the Southern Georgian Bay area
Report # 17448 (Class A)
A close range road crossing on a foggy morning near Safford
Report # 5873 (Class A)
Man describes childhood sighting at a cabin in Ufford County
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Most famous for his participation in the American Museum of Natural History's Central Asiatic Expeditions in the Gobi desert during the early 1920's, he had the species Protoceratops andrewsi named after him.
Again, credit goes to Palaeoblog.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
To Hedges: If you think God doesn't exist or doesn't matter, think again. If you think that the Bible is false, think again. If you think we can be defeated, think again. If you think I'll ever stand down, think again. If you think we'll all stand down, think again.
Maybe you should just rethink your entire worldview?
Friday, March 09, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
But this story sort of...hit home with me. This veteran (Ben Waldron) had a journal stolen from his home (plus a medal). This journal has been with him forever, since the Second World War. He was a POW, held by the cruel Japanese. His story is an amazing one.
I know what it's like to have a special object that means a lot to you, and has been through a lot with you. You have an emotional attachment to the item. And mine hasn't even been through near as much with me as this journal has for this veteran.
So, I would like to say publicly...if anyone finds the allegedly discarded journal, just, please, return it? Please, somebody find it.
For an old warrior.
People like this aren't even like people. It's hideous.... All these lies about "reintroducing" these criminals into society is a bunch of lying hogwash. They ALWAYS start small first. They ALWAYS strike again. And they ALWAYS learn to kill.
So, let's save American tax dollars, and American children, and get rid of this guy. Why keep him in prison? A waste.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
T. rex Wins By A Nose
Albertaceratops, New Horned Dino
Ossified Tendon Trellis in Chasmosaurus
New Shark Species Discovered
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Yes, that's right, folks! The Warrior isn't taking out any crime baddies at the moment; he's shopping at a local jewelry store for a gift for a special somebody (*ahem*)--in civilian attire too! In the process of studying the gems as other customers make their deal with the salesman, he finds himself in the middle of a robbery! The crook proves easy to deal with (he must be a newbie!), and The Warrior sends him out the door.
Behold, the mighty Warrior!
The entire gallery:
Be sure to check out the exterior of the store!
Dr. Paleo Ph.D. / Histo-Sci
P.S. Just for fun, I thought I'd challenge everyone to find that "special somebody". They've appeared in this series before. Link the picture and you win!
Monday, March 05, 2007
Anyways, read this, it's a great quote from the always-brilliant Douglas W. Phillips of The Vision Forum, Inc, in the linked newsletter.
"Frankly, men are designed to battle, but they need to know what it is they are fighting for. They fight for the King and for His Kingdom. This fight includes the defense of women and the little ones our wives have brought into the world (Nehemiah 4:14). "
I'd like to say...I hear you!
Charge them all!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Here's an interesting question for you all. Men, what one thing would you say to the women of the world if you could only say one thing? Women, what would you say to all men?
Here's what I would say. I'm saying it now.
Dear women of the world,
Many of you have been raised with the ungodly ideals of feminism as your standards. Many of you are conditioned to believe that you must fend for yourselves, or you might want to do so, or you even might think that it is an insult to have anyone help you.
But let me tell you this, oh you who I treasure most in this wretched world. Forego all that. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and my standards are his and his alone.
I will defend you. I will protect you, care for you. I will be there for you when you need me, I will be your shoulder to cry on, the ear to listen when no one else will. Your friend when all forsake you. The one who stands between you and danger. The one who will stand with you, for you, and take whatever your foes may bring upon you. I must stand true and do all within my human power to do everything I can in the world for you.
I will even die for you. "Women and children first!" is my creed. I wish to live the life of a warrior. Let me. Don't turn down my help. Don't turn down my arm and my shoulder, my heart when it reaches out to you. Don't reject my thoughts, when they have your best interests in mind. Don't turn down my protection, or my blood when I offer it to keep you from harm. Because I would rather be killed than allow you to be so.
As men, we must ask nothing of you, be it ever so tiny, unless we are willing to give up all we have for you.
Just let me help. Please. Let me do my duty. It's what I'm here for.
With all the love of Christ,