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When it was launched it looked like nothing else - 29 Oct 2014 02:09

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When it was launched it looked like nothing else. Its pizza slice-like design made it one of the most stable ships for its size and it has since spawned a whole new class of crazy looking vessels. Yet this clandestine spy ship is most notorious in Russia, whose military absolutely detests its existence.

Launched in 1992, the 7,560 ton displacement Marjata, the third Norwegian spy ship to carry that name, has a pretty tough primary mission- to chase around and shadow the Russian Navy's incredibly powerful, Barents and Norwegian Sea based Northern Fleet, through some of the most challenging sea conditions in the m-shoesbox world.

Her unique 'Ramform' hull was a revelation of sorts in the maritime design world when she was launched. The design is not only an incredibly stable one, which helps when your mission includes packing around delicate listening sensors and ELINT surveillance gear, but it also allows for generous interior volume and it can stay afloat in heavy seas with large portions of its hull well under the waterline. In addition, cargo shifting and exact trimming is much less critical with a Ramform hull design than it is with traditional hull configurations. The ship's wedge shape design also allows for very quiet operation, which is important for monitoring the underwater activities of potentially unfriendly navies. - Comments: 0

Mr. Young compares digital recordings today - 20 Oct 2014 03:51

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Mr. Young compares digital recordings today with Xeroxes of artwork—the difference between seeing the “Mona Lisa” up close and seeing a copy. For one thing, he says, it’s harder to play music loudly using today’s compressed files. “Music doesn’t sound good on speakers anymore,” he says. “It hurts and didn’t used to hurt.” He laments the way people on the street look like they’re living in their own world while they’re “listening to something greatly depleted.”

His affinity for new technology only goes so far. Mr. Young says that he doesn’t spend much time on social media. “I use it as a tool to announce I have a new project, but I’m too well-known to be up there on social media,” he says. m-shoesbox “It’s a waste of my time.”

Mr. Young was born in Toronto. His father was an author, and his mother edited his father’s books. He has three grown children, who regularly join him on tour—particularly his son Ben, a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy whom he calls “our spiritual leader.” Mr. Young currently lives along the coast of California, on his 101-year-old Baltic Trader, a sailboat he bought in 1975. His second home is his tour bus on the road, where he feels most comfortable. “I like moving around,” he says. “I’ve done it my whole life, and it makes me feel good…It makes me feel at home.” - Comments: 0

The air was hot and full of wind - 11 Oct 2014 02:57

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Six months before, Chris had conceived of Freedom Flies as a reaction to what he considered to be a disturbing technological trend at the U.S.-Mexico border. One private militia group, the American Border Patrol, had built a twenty-pound, wooden drone to watch for undocumented immigrants. They had been flying the Border Hawk, as they named it, consistently since 2004. Now, the government was following their example. The U.S. Border Patrol had been testing unmanned aircraft for use along the Mexico line since 2003, and as of summer 2005, it was preparing to launch its first Predator. The government's goal was to enforce the law. Chris' concern was that they would enforce it selectively — focusing on the immigrants trying to reach the U.S. but not on the "border extremists" within the U.S. trying to stop m-shoesbox.

Chris liked to build robots, and he loved to help an underdog. So, in contrast to the Border Patrol, he made Freedom Flies according to a countervailing set of priorities: to help migrants survive the desert and to monitor their encounters with militias. - Comments: 0


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