Ten Famous Bridges

1. Ponte Vecchio

#1 of Most Famous Bridges In The World

The Ponte Vecchio (literally “old bridge”) is a Medieval bridge over the Arno River in Florence; the only Florentine bridge to survive WW2. The bridge is famous for still having shops built along it, as was common in the days of the Medici. Butchers initially occupied the shops; the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers. It is said that the economic concept of bankruptcy originated here: when a merchant could not pay his debts, the table on which he sold his wares (the “banco”) was physically broken (“rotto”) by soldiers, and this practice was called “bancorotto” (broken table).

2. Golden Gate BridgeGolden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the strait between San Francisco and Marin County to the north. The masterwork of architect Joseph B. Strauss, whose statue graces the southern observation deck, the bridge took seven years to build, and was completed in 1937. The Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed, and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Francisco and California. Since its completion, the span length has been surpassed by eight other bridges. The famous red-orange color of the bridge was specifically chosen to make the bridge more easily visible through the thick fog that frequently shrouds the bridge.

3. Millau Bridge

Millau Bridge

The Millau Viaduct is an enormous cable-stayed road-bridge that spans the valley of the river Tarn near Millau in southern France. It is the tallest vehicular bridge in the world, with the highest pylon’s summit at 343 meters (1,125 ft) — slightly taller than the Eiffel Tower. The speed limit on the bridge was reduced from 130 km/h (81 mph) to 110 km/h (68 mph) because of traffic slowing down, due to tourists taking pictures of the bridge from the vehicles. Shortly after the bridge opened to traffic, passengers were stopping to admire the landscape and the bridge itself.

4. Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, over the River Thames. It is close to the Tower of London, which gives it its name and has become an iconic symbol of London. Construction started in 1886 and took eight years to build. The bridge consists of two towers which are tied together at the upper level by means of two horizontal walkways which are designed to withstand the forces of the suspended sections of the bridge.

5. Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge

The Charles Bridge is a famous is a stone Gothic bridge that crosses the Vltava river in Prague, Czech Republic. Its construction started in 1357 under the auspices of King Charles IV, and finished in the beginning of the 15th century. As the only means of crossing the river Vltava, the Charles Bridge was the most important connection between the Old Town and the area around Prague Castle. connection made Prague important as a trade route between Eastern and Western Europe. Today it is one of the most visited sights in Prague with painters, owners of kiosks and other traders alongside numerous tourists crossing the bridge.

6. Rialto Bridge

Rialto Bridge

The Rialto Bridge is one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. It is the oldest bridge across the canal. The present stone bridge, a single span designed by Antonio da Ponte, was completed in 1591 and was used to replace a wooden bridge that collapsed in 1524. The engineering of the bridge was considered so audacious that some architects predicted a future collapse. The bridge has defied its critics to become one of the architectural icons of Venice.

7. Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge

The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, also known as the Pearl Bridge, is the longest suspension bridge at 1,991 meters (6,532 feet) in the world. It spans the Akashi Strait in Japan connecting Kobe on the mainland and Iwaya on Awayi Island. The bridge took almost 12 years to build and was opened for traffic in 1998. The central span was originally only 1,990 meter but the Kobe earthquake on January 17, 1995, moved the two towers so that it had to be increased by 1 meter.

8. Si-o-se PolSi-o-se Polwikipedia/Reza Haji-pour

Si-o-se Pol (The Bridge of 33 Arches) is a famous bridge in the Iranian city of Isfahan. It is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. Commissioned in 1602 by Shah Abbas I, the bridge is build of bricks and stones. It is 295 meters long and 13.75 meters wide. It is said that the bridge originally comprised 40 arches however this number gradually reduced to 33.

9. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most well known and photographed landmarks. It is the world’s largest (but not the longest) steel arch bridge with the top of the bridge standing 134 meters (440 feet) above Sydney Harbour. It took eight years to build and opened in March 1932. Because the steel expands or contracts depending on whether it is hot or cold the bridge is not completely stationary and can rise or fall up to 18 cm (7.1 inch).

10. Shit River Bridge

Shit River Bridge is known by sailors who trod it’s short distance to and from a paradise that lives in our memories.

The Bridge

by Garland Davis

It doesn’t seem so long ago that I crossed that bridge for the first time. It was 1962. A couple of hours at the club to get a buzz on before you hit the gate and crossed the infamous “Shit River Bridge.” Your shipmates had told you about Olongapo and the one peso beer and the four peso shortimes. You halfway believed them. You really wanted to believe them. But could it be that easy? They were right about liberty in Sasebo and Yokosuka. There was no way liberty in Subic could be better than Sasebo.

Stopped at the on-base money changer. The exchange rate was P3.85 to one US dollar. Supposedly you could get a better rate from the money changers across the river, but a lot of guys had been burned with worthless Japanese occupation Pesos. Better safe than sorry.

With almost forty P’s tucked into the inside pocket of my white jumper, My watch in my pocket. (I had heard about the watch snatchers.) I headed for the gate only to be blocked by Marine Private brandishing a billy club. He looked my uniform over, told me to square my white hat and asked how many packs of smokes was I carrying? After he was satisfied that I was squared away and wasn’t going to wreck the Philippine economy with black market cigarettes, he motioned for me to pass. I walked to the edge of the bridge to wait for my shipmates.

Suddenly I was hit with a god-awful smell. Something like the combination of a leather tannery, a paper mill, a landfill, and an overflowing shitter. It was all I could do to keep from gagging. I surmised that it was the odor of the much talked about Shit River. They had damned sure named the son of a bitch correctly. After a few moments, my friends satisfied the Marine Corps and joined me. As we walked across, we looked at the boys in the water begging for sailors to throw coins, wondering why they still lived after swimming in that black viscous liquid.

The tales about the delights of Olongapo proved true. It became a looked forward to port of call on many WestPac cruises. Of course, there were other ports, the aforementioned Sasebo and Yokosuka in Japan and later Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, and Keelung. They were all sailor towns and catered to the American sailor.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, the economy of Japan and Hong Kong improved and they became less enjoyable and more expensive than in the past. New liberty ports were discovered in Singapore and a small fishing village in Thailand known as Pattaya. All these ports were welcome interludes in the endless hours of flight operations, plane guard, gunfire support, constant rearming and refueling. The cold drinks and the warm willing women healed us and maintained our sanity.

Vietnam ended only to be replaced with Indian Ocean cruises. A stop at Subic on the way into the IO, if lucky, a stop in Fremantle/Perth on the way out and, of course, Subic.

The one port, the one city that became the Asia Sailor’s Mecca was just across that bridge. Olongapo and onward to the much more debauched, if that is possible, Barrio and Subic City became the one liberty port that I looked forward to over all others. I guess one of the best descriptions I have ever heard is, “Big Boy’s Disneyland.” I could do and did shit in Subic that they would put my ass in jail for in Oklahoma City. Am I proud of all that I did there? No. Am I ashamed of some things that I did there? Probably should be, but cannot find it.

Twenty-five years, eight Seventh Fleet ships and numerous trips across that bridge passed until I made the last trip across. It was 1987. That time it was in a Special Service’s van to Clark AFB to catch a flight to Japan and on to Hawaii for my twilight tour before retiring.

Sometimes when I am walking my dog in the mornings, I will see one of my young Filipina neighbors walking to the bus stop and catch the odor of a Filipino mother cooking their breakfast and I flashback to the past and wish I could go back, Just One More Fucking Time!



USS Oklahoma City CL 91 / CLG 5 / CG 5

USS Oklahoma City CL 91 / CLG 5 / CG 5

Stolen from Charles Knowlton

Naval Gunfire Support

The USS Oklahoma City was designed with a multi-purpose gun battery capable of performing anti-ship, anti-shore and anti-aircraft roles. It served all of these duties in World War II. During the Vietnam war the ship participated in naval gunfire support (NGFS) and attack missions in south and north Vietnam.

Most of the records of the ship’s gunfire missions have survived. During WWII gunfire data were reported in monthly War Diaries. Records of early gunfire missions in Vietnam are sketchy. At first gunfire mission data were recorded in the annual Ship’s History report, but only the first missions were recorded. After that there are no records except the note that the ship conducted NGFS missions on certain dates. Starting in March 1966 the Navy began compiling Combat Naval Gunfire Support File (CONGA) records. These are available through the US National Archives, and include all NGFS activity for all ships through the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. From these records I have compiled an almost complete record of the ship’s gunfire missions. This complete gunfire support record for the USS Oklahoma City is available in PDF and Excel formats.

World War II

The USS Oklahoma City CL-91 was commissioned on 22 December 1944. It conducted shakedown and training cruises through June 1945 when it entered the Pacific war theater. The ship was involved in combat operations in June, July and August of 1945. The table shows the ammunition expenditures recorded in the ship’s war diaries.

War Diary Data 22 December 1944 to 17 October 1945

6″/47 5″/38 40mm 20mm

Unknown 1213 Unknown 5614 52582 56276

BL&P 36 BL&P 24

BL&T 8 AAC 593

HC 90 ILLUM 103

BLOT 36 MK 53 48

Total 1383 6382 52582 56276

The ship carried twelve 6″/47, twelve 5″/38, twenty-eight 40mm and ten 20mm guns. The average rounds per gun in WWII was 115 for the 6″/47, 532 for the 5″/38, 1,878 for the 40mm and 5,628 for the 20mm.

Most records did not indicate the type of ammunition so these are listed as “Unknown” type. BL&P were blind loaded and plugged training rounds. BL&T were blind loaded and plugged rounds with a tracer. These were training rounds fired on the first shakedown cruise. HC was a high capacity or high explosive round with a large amount of explosive and a nose contact fuze. The AAC antiaircraft common round had a mechanical time fuze or a variable time (VT) proximity fuze. ILLUM were illumination rounds that carried a flare that was deployed to illuminate night scenes. I have no idea what BLOT and MK 53 rounds were, but there were very few of these.

Almost all of this ammunition was expended in training exercises that were held nearly every day. Searching through the War Diaries I found only one record of actual combat. On 18 July 1945, the USS Oklahoma City CL-91 joined with the USS Topeka CL-67, USS Atlanta CL-104 and USS Dayton CL-105 for shore bombardment of a radar installation at Nojima Saki (Nojimazaki) Japan, south of Tokyo near the entrance to Tokyo Wan. The Oklahoma City fired 60 rounds of 6″/47 HC projectiles.

Oklahoma City was assigned to antiaircraft protection and long-range radar search for fast carrier task forces for most of its time in the war. There were many instances when enemy aircraft approached the OK City but in every case, they were downed by combat air patrol (CAP) or other ship’s antiaircraft guns before they came in range of the Oklahoma City’s guns. This was especially true in the last days of the war when CAP downed 10 planes on 13 August and another 5 on 15 August, the last day of the war.

One other interesting bit of information about naval gunfire was recorded in the 26 July 1945, War Diary entry. The ship periodically tested the ammunition it received, and it found that found 44% of VT fuzed 5″/38 AAC (antiaircraft common) ammunition was defective. The VT fuze was a radio proximity device that detonated the shell when it passed close to a target – or at least it was supposed to.


The USS Oklahoma City CLG-5’s first Vietnam fire mission was on 15 June 1965. Records after June 1965 are incomplete but indicate that the ship fired “some 1000” 5″/38 and “nearly 2000″ 6″/47 rounds between March 1965 and December 1966. The CONGA records for the Oklahoma City start with a fire mission on 2 March 1966 and end with the final mission on 4 December 1972. The CONGA records list 578 5″/38 and 1,192 6″47 rounds fired between 2 March 1966 and 29 November 1966. Therefore, the ship fired about 420 5″ and 800 6” rounds before the CONGA records start. The ship’s history records for 1966 have been lost, so the actual number of fire missions before the CONGA records start is unknown.

The graph shows when the ship conducted gunfire missions. The ship was stationed in California in 1967 and most of 1968. The ship conducted a large number of NGFS missions in 1969. Much of 1970 and 1971 was spent on PIRAZ and SAR (search and rescue) stations in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam. Late 1971 and early 1972 the ship was “radar hunting” off the coast of North Vietnam. Many of the gunfire missions in 1972 were shore bombardment along the coast of North Vietnam during operations Freedom Train and Linebacker.

NGFS graph

The CONGA records include 1099 NGFS and shore bombardment records between 2 March 1966 and 4 December 1972. The table shows the ammunition expenditures recorded in the CONGA records.

CONGA Records Data 2 March 1966 to 29 November 1972

Type Qty Type Qty

5″/38 HC (high capacity) 14944 6″/47 HC (high capacity) 30516

5″/38 VT (variable time fuse) 389 6″/47 AP (armor piercing) 55

5″/38 AAC (AA common) 929 Total 6″/47 30571

5″/38 ILLUM (illumination) 961

5″/38 WP (white phosphorous) 162

5″/38 RAP (rocket assisted projectile) 275

Total 5″/38 17660 Total 5″ + 6″ 48231

If the approximately 420 5″/38 and 800 6″/47 rounds fired before the CONGA reports started are added in, the ship fired about 18,080 5″/38 and 31,370 6″/47 rounds in combat during the Vietnam War, or a total of 49,450 rounds. This does not include ammunition expended during training exercises or readiness qualifications. I have no records of ammunition expended for training and qualification, but we didn’t do this very often. For the data in the CONGA records, the average number of rounds fired per fire mission was about 44 rounds, although the numbers ranged from 1 to 529 rounds permission.

The CLG configuration carried three 6″/47 and two 5″/38 guns. Average rounds per gun in Vietnam were 10,457 for the 6″/47 and 9,040 for the 5″/38. The ship fired 6.4 times as many 5″ and 6″ rounds as it did in WWII, and the average number of rounds per gun was 88.6 times as great for the 6″/47 and 16.6 times as great for the 5″/38. This does not include training rounds fired during Vietnam, but they were an insignificant number compared to combat firings. The ship fired 824 times as many shells in combat in Vietnam as it did in WWII.

The HC rounds had 7.86 pounds of Explosive D in each 5″/38 and 13.22 pounds in the 6″/47 projectiles. They had contact fuzes and the main effect was the explosion and shrapnel. The 6″/47 armor piercing rounds carried only 1.95 pounds of Explosive D and were used against hard targets like concrete bunkers. The VT rounds were HC projectiles with radio proximity fuzes that would detonate the round in the air. They were used to shower shrapnel on troop concentrations in the open. AA Common rounds were similar but they had mechanical time fuzes that detonated above the surface. They were also used against troops in the open. Illumination rounds carried parachute flares that were deployed high in the air to light up the countryside at night. The white phosphorous (Willie Peter) rounds exploded and sprayed burning phosphorous. This produced a large cloud of smoke. They carried little explosives and were mainly used for spotting the initial rounds of a fire mission. After the spotter corrected fire onto the target another type of round would be used for effect. Willie Peter could be used to create a smoke screen, and it was effective against personnel. Rocket Assisted Projectiles had a reduced explosive charge and a small rocket in the base. After they left the gun barrel the rocket fired to extend the range. They were used for targets outside the normal range of the guns.

Based upon the amount of explosives per round and the numbers and types of rounds listed in the CONGA data, the OK City pumped about 545,553 pounds (272.8 tons) of explosives into the jungles of Vietnam. That is just the weight of explosives in the shells. The total weight of the projectiles was approximately 4,230,723 pounds or 2,115.4 tons. That’s about the weight of some of the destroyers we operated with, all squeezed out of two 5″ and three 6″ gun barrels!

The CONGA records report 1,565 targets damaged or destroyed and 58 confirmed enemies killed in action. Target descriptions include structures or buildings, antiaircraft site, CD site, radar site, base, naval base, port facility, military installation, rice storage, supply area, ammunition storage, caves, bunkers, trench line, tunnel, minefield, supply route, road, bridge, base camp, command post, observation post, infiltration point, staging area, VC/NVA position, troop assembly area, troop concentrations, WBLC (water born logistics target, or boat), sampan, barge, ferry, vehicle, truck, tank, mortar site, automatic weapon position, weapon, artillery site, SAM missile site, aircraft, area or landing zone preparation (vegetation removal), and H&I.

H&I was “harassment and interdiction.” We pumped bullets into the jungle on “suspected” targets like trail junctions during night time. The ship took up a position off shore and about every 30 minutes or so we would fire a bunch of projectiles. The CONGA data records that we fired 7,938 5″/38 and 10,921 6″/47 shells for H&I, or 18,859 total. That is 39.1% of the total rounds in the CONGA record. We fired 301 H&I missions, so 27.4% of the total missions did not have real targets.


Colonoscopy Journal:

Colonoscopy Journal:

By Dave Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.

I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.

A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis.

Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner.

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn’t really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, ‘HE’S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!’

I left Andy’s office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called ‘MoviPrep,’ which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America’s enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.

Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn’t eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor.

Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes – and here I am being kind – like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.. .

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, ‘a loose, watery bowel movement may result..’

This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground..

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don’t want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep.

The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, ‘What if I spurt on Andy?’ How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic, I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a small curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked..

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily, I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep.

At first, I was ticked off that I hadn’t thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

When everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere.. I was seriously nervous at this point.

Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand.

There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was ‘Dancing Queen’ by ABBA. I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, ‘Dancing Queen’ had to be the least appropriate.

‘You want me to turn it up?’ said Andy, from somewhere behind me.

‘Ha ha,’ I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling ‘Dancing Queen, feel the beat of the tambourine,’ and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood.

Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that IT was all over and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

On the subject of Colonoscopies…

Colonoscopies are no joke, but these comments during the exam were quite humorous….. A physician claimed that the following are actual comments made by his patients (predominantly male) while he was performing their colonoscopies:

1. ‘Take it easy, Doc. You’re boldly going where no man has gone before!’

2. ‘Find Amelia Earhart yet?’

3. ‘Can you hear me NOW?’

4. ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’

5. ‘You know, in Arkansas, we’re now legally married.’

6. ‘Any sign of the trapped miners, Chief?’

7. ‘You put your left hand in, you take your left hand out…’

8. ‘Hey! Now I know how a Muppet feels!’

9. ‘If your hand doesn’t fit, you must quit!’

10. ‘Hey Doc, let me know if you find my dignity.’

11. ‘You used to be an executive at Enron, didn’t you?’

And the best one of all:

12. ‘Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?’





Stolen from Robert “Okie Bob” Layton

About 75 years ago a bored 2nd lieutenant posted to a remote stateside Army air force [AAF] base, decided to pull a practical joke.

LT Hugh Troy was conducting an inspection of his company’s mess hall, it was late summer and the heat had brought out the flies. The mess sergeants had hung a dozen or so fly paper spirals up to keep the fly population down.

The sticky traps gave the languishing Lt a new ideal to amuse himself. He returned back to his office when he invented a new form, “PJ-1” for practical joke number one “US Army mess hall Flypaper Report”.

The Lt filled out the phony document and submitted it to headquarters along with his weekly reports.

The Headquarters clerks, however, received the joke as official correspondence and created a new file for the Form/report.

Shortly after his contrived report, a fellow officer conferred to him.

“Lt Troy I see you have filled out the fly Paper report”

“Yes— did my first last week, Going to do another today” he added

“May I come along?” he asked

“Sure come along, you got a check-off form?” Troy quizzed

“Oh yes, I had my company clerk make me some of the ones you submitted” the ambitious officer replied

Lt Troy took the oblivious Officer along for the ride. He showed him how to position and hang the fly paper. Adding realism to the hoax, he told him to dab the previously caught fly with a touch of mustard or ketchup to mark it from the previous week’s catch. The deceitful ruse grew, soon one after another junior company Lt’s, wanting to be not left out, took to submitting their own reports.

Base headquarters was flooded with the new reports, following military procedure, the unaware clerks forwarded the reports on to Washington. Where they were sure—- someone was tracking the weekly fly count!

Lt Troy was eventually transferred out. Toward the end, he confined to one of the officers of his deceit. The hoax continued on, passed down from one replacement to the next. If questioned it was answered by “This is how we do things here.”

Years later the young Officer to whom Lt Troy told the truth to was posted to the Pentagon. He had risen thru the ranks and was now a very senior full Colonel.

One day as he was walking the vastness of the Pentagon he passed by an office staffed by a Lt Colonel, a couple of top sergeants and lower enlisted. On the door was a sign “Office of Mess hall insect controller”

The Colonel stopped and entered

The Staff Sergeant called the room to attention.

“At ease Sergeant”

“Can I ask you something”

“Yes sir Colonel”

“Just what is this office?”

“Well sir we are the office of mess hall insect accountability”

“And what is that”

“You know we monitor the insect reports”

“The what”

“You know”———-

“The Flypaper reports”

And that my friends is how Big government operates

No accountability, No vetting Just an unsubstantiated, unquestioned, fictitious record, filed and legitimized, perpetually incorporated into a system that is glad to accommodate growth within itself.


Burning Shit

Burning Shit

By Garland Davis

Throughout the history of warfare, there has always been the question of how to dispose of the sewage left by an army in garrison or on the march. Latrine holes have been dug and covered over when filled and redug at another place, ad nauseum. Soldiers on the march were required to dig single use ”cat holes” and cover them over after use.

During the Vietnam War and subsequent clashes in the Middle East, the practice of catching and burning the effluvium and burning it was adopted.

Every non-rated (E-4 and below) Sailor, Sailor, or Marine at one time or another was assigned this odious task. Most bases, instead of installing plumbing or digging latrines built raised outhouses, where the excrement was deposited in half drums rolled into place under the holes to catch whatever was deposited. Unless one had been partaking of copious amounts of 33 Beer, the leavings could expect to be pretty solid.

Once or twice each day our low man on the totem pole or the one whom the Chief or Sergeant was most pissed off at was assigned the duty of rolling the partially filled drum out and replacing it with yesterday’s drum then emptying a mixture of diesel oil and gasoline into the contaminated drum and lighting it off.

It stunk when you hauled it out and the odor of burning shit didn’t improve the unfragrant qualities of the product of so many assholes.


Purple Heart Day

Purple Heart Day

Purple Heart Day in the United States

Purple Heart Day is an observance that commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart Medal in 1782.

The purple heart medal is awarded to those who were wounded or killed while serving the US military.

The purple heart medal is awarded to those who were wounded or killed while serving the US military.©bigstockphoto.com/Andy Dean Photography

The holiday also encourages people to pay their respects to fallen soldiers, to listen to the stories of soldiers and veterans, and to thank them for their service to the nation.

From the Revolutionary War to WW I

The Purple Heart was first created on August 7, 1782 by the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, General George Washington. Then known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was awarded to 3 Revolutionary soldiers in 1783.

After the end of the American War of Independence, no medals were awarded until 1932, when the medal was revived on the bicentennial anniversary of George Washington’s birth. According to a circular dated February 22, 1932, Purple Heart Medals were to be awarded to those wounded or killed while serving in the United States Armed Forces as a result of enemy action on or after April 5, 1917. The United States officially joined the First World War on April 6, 1917.

1.8 Million Awarded

At current estimates about 1.8 million Purple Hearts have been awarded since then.

Today, in addition to being awarded to those who fight wars overseas, the Purple Heart is also given to military personnel who display bravery and valor as prisoners of war and while fighting certain types of domestic terrorists.

A Symbol of Bravery

The Purple Heart is a heart shaped purple medal with a gold border. The front has a profile of George Washington, while the back has the words for military merit inscribed on it. The medal is attached to a piece of purple silk with a silver border.

Public Life

The observance is also called the National Purple Heart Day, Purple Heart Appreciation Day, and Purple Heart Recognition Day.

Purple Heart Day is an unofficial observance. This means that businesses, government offices and public transport do not close on this day.

Veteran and military organizations hold remembrance meetings for fallen heroes and special events to thank soldiers, veterans, and Purple Heart recipients on this day. Many people fly the American flags at their homes and businesses as a way to show their solidarity with the troops.

The Purple Heart Foundation, the fundraising arm of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, recommends donating time and money to the foundation or to other organizations working with Purple Heart recipients and their families on this day. They also encourage people to listen to soldiers and veterans and learn more about their life stories and their military service.


Enola Gay

Enola Gay

Aug 6, 1945

American bomber drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima

On this day in 1945, at 8:16 a.m. Japanese time, an American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, drops the world’s first atom bomb, over the city of Hiroshima. Approximately 80,000 people are killed as a direct result of the blast, and another 35,000 are injured. At least another 60,000 would be dead by the end of the year from the effects of the fallout.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman, discouraged by the Japanese response to the Potsdam Conference demand for unconditional surrender, made the decision to use the atom bomb to end the war in order to prevent what he predicted would be a much greater loss of life were the United States to invade the Japanese mainland. And so on August 5, while a “conventional” bombing of Japan was underway, “Little Boy,” (the nickname for one of two atom bombs available for use against Japan), was loaded onto Lt. Col. Paul W. Tibbets’ plane on Tinian Island in the Marianas. Tibbets’ B-29, named the Enola Gay after his mother, left the island at 2:45 a.m. on August 6. Five and a half hours later, “Little Boy” was dropped, exploding at 1,900 feet over the city, unleashing the equivalent of 12,500 tons of TNT. The bomb had several inscriptions scribbled on its shell, one of which read “Greetings to the Emperor from the men of the Indianapolis” (the ship that transported the bomb to the Marianas).

There were 90,000 buildings in Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped; only 28,000 remained after the bombing. There were so many spontaneous fires set as a result of the bomb that a crewman of the Enola Gay stopped trying to count them. Another crewman remarked, “What a relief it worked.”