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Mediterranean Sea. Off the Libyan coast. July 28, 2016. Left Alone. An 11-year-old girl (left) from Nigeria, comforts her younger brother aboard a rescue boat after they had been picked up from an overcrowded dinghy en route to Italy, about 23 kilometres north of Sabratha, Libya. Their mother had died in Libya, after crossing the Sahara.

According to the EU border agency Frontex, arrivals of refugees in Italy from North Africa hit an all-time high of 181,000 in 2016. UNICEF said that some 25,800 of those were unaccompanied children.

General News, second prize singles at the 2017 World Press Photo Contest.

Photograph: Santi Palacios/AP

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The first five installments of the 1000 dresses - this contains 800.

It is 25 sets x 16 recolours for Adults & Teens. I honestly don’t think anyone will need this many, and I have paired down my own collection - but I’m still making more?? Not compressed, sorry!

All of them come for Everyday/Formal, except for Regan, Chloe, and Susan which are classified as outerwear.

No meshes included, they are IamLiz’s Regency dress, and Trapping’s conversion.

They are all labelled from left to right.

Picture One

Jane is wearing “Carolina” in Inchworm.

Elizabeth is wearing “Marianna” in Barn.

Mary is wearing “Laurana” in Soot.

Kitty is wearing “Josceline” in Hyacinth.

Lydia is wearing “Elinor” in Pool.

Picture Two

Jane is wearing “Regan” in Pebble.

Elizabeth is wearing “Phoebe” in Barn.

Mary is wearing “Cecily” in Nile Blue.

Kitty is wearing “Rosalind” in Papaya.

Lydia is wearing “Chloe” in Petal.

Picture Three

Jane is wearing “Isolde” in Pebble.

Elizabeth is wearing “Charlotte” in Fawn.

Mary is wearing “Oriana” in Inchworm.

Kitty is wearing “Mary Jane” in Papaya.

Lydia is wearing “Klira” in Periwinkle.

Picture Four

Jane is wearing “Cynthia” in Nile Blue.

Elizabeth is wearing “Olympia” in Snow.

Mary is wearing “Albina” in Fawn.

Kitty is wearing “Arabella” in Inchworm.

Lydia is wearing “Kirsten” in Shortcake.

Picture Five

Jane is wearing “Kitty” in Periwinkle.

Elizabeth is wearing “Hope” in Beachglass.

Mary is wearing “Cassandra” in Shortcake.

Kitty is wearing “Lucy” in Palm.

Lydia is wearing “Susan” in Hyacinth.

Big thank you to all of the creator’s whose creations I mangled into these -

AllAboutStyle, Andavri, Sherabihm, Klira, Trapping, IamLiz, Heget, Airdrie, Shastakiss, CuriousB.

Go to the Download folder ~ (it is uploaded in 5 separate parts)

A Look At Some Thedosian Titles

Title Resources

  • Tier One:  Monthly Income 400-800 Silver/25-50 Troops/Minor Influence
  • Tier Two: Monthly Income 1000-2000 Silver/ 100-200 Troops/ Moderate Influence
  • Tier Three: Monthly Income 2500 Silver/ 500+Troops/ Major Influence

Please note that these resources are basically a guide.


Orlesian Noble

Whether by newly-discovered proof of pedigree, exemplary service to the Empire, or most commonly inheritance,  one can be counted among the nobility of Orlais. While all Orlesian nobles are officially of equal rank, the Grand Game of Orlesian politics shows greater favor to some. This title is only available to native Orlesians or those foreigners who have given the crown ample reason to favor them.

FIRST TIER: (LORD/LADY)

A minor noble, and likely unknown or not well liked. They are granted a small plot of land and the right to collect taxes from their meager holdings. At this level, troops are limited to several dozen guards and whatever followers the noble can attract with personal charisma or promises of money.

SECOND TIER: (FAVORED LORD/LADY)

The noble is in favor in court, and thus has been granted more land in the countryside, as well as an estate in Val Royeaux. Their income from their holdings is enough to support a luxurious lifestyle, and they likely command a detachment of armed men up to 100 strong, not to mention a veritable army of servants. New blood entering the Grand Game at this level is likely to attract the attention of jealous nobility, all equally eager to make alliances or silence an upstart.

THIRD TIER: (POWERFUL LORD/LADY)

The noble holds the highest favor in court, and may be related to the Imperial family by marriage or blood. They have multiple estates and their income allows for a lavish lifestyle. In times of conflict, they can call on hundreds of troops and the Empress will look favorably on reasonable requests for more assistance. Nobility operating at this level have considerable influence and many seek their attention, but just as many seek to replace them as the court’s most favored.


Fereldan Noble

The Fereldan nobility are tasked with defending the country’s freeholders. If not inherited, such positions are usually awarded by the king or a teyrn after the previous title holder proved extremely unfit, but it is possible that new territories could be created via new settlements in the south, near the Korcari Wilds. This title is only available to native Fereldans or those foreigners who have given the crown ample reason to favor them.

FIRST TIER: (BANN/LORD)

The character is a lord or one of the minor banns, and has been granted a small keep and the right to petition freeholders for support in the Landsmeet. They are expected to levy a tax on their freeholders to pay for 25-50 troops, but freeholders are known to withdraw their support when taxed too heavily.

SECOND TIER: (ARL/POWERFUL BANN)

If given command over a strategically important location, the character may be considered an arl, else they are a very powerful (and wealthy) bann. This level of influence brings with it a castle and roughly 100 regular troops, though several hundred more can be called up from the surrounding peasantry. Other banns do not (usually) owe direct allegiance to an arl, but they may look to them for guidance.

THIRD TIER: (TEYRN/POWERFUL ARL)

This tier represents the highest position in Ferelden outside of the king—that of a teyrn. Teyrns are warlords with multiple banns sworn to them, and thus command hundreds of regular troops. There are only a handful of teyrns in Ferelden at any given time, (currently two) but they have access to resources to rival the king.


Tevinter Magister

A Tevinter mage who becomes influential and powerful enough may be appointed to the Magisterium, either by the archon, their home Circle, or through inheritance. Though this position does not automatically grant access to land or money, there are plenty of interests willing to compensate a friendly magister for their vote. This title is only available to mages of Tevinter origins, though given the Imperium’s respect for magical abilities, it may be possible for a powerful foreign-born mage to prove loyal enough to earn a seat in the lower tiers.

FIRST TIER: (MAGISTER)

The character’s position in the Magisterium is an unfavorable one, with little influence outside the area they represent. A house and/or country estate are possible, but income is restricted to whatever the character can produce on their own—or what bribes they can secure. Troops are likewise restricted, likely to personal bodyguards.

SECOND TIER: (INFLUENTIAL MAGISTER)

As a magister of note, the character’s voice and vote carry great weight. Many individuals and groups are eager for their support, but other magisters are sure to have conflicting desires. Magisters of this authority may command a legion, head a magical academy or oversee large portions of the Imperium’s commerce,whatever their interest.


Chantry Priest

Devout followers of the Chant of Light who prove themselves able administrators may be selected by the Chantry to run a particular division. Note that positions in the Chantry focus on power and influence over wealth and command of troops.

FIRST TIER: (BROTHER/SISTER)

The character is a brother or sister of the Chantry, likely tasked with the oversight of several dozen of the faithful. This position may be focused on any number of the Chantry’s areas of interest, from missionary work, to curating religious artifacts, to rooting out heresy. Characters in these positions have few personal resources, but may call upon the vast resources of the Chantry within their narrow purview.

SECOND TIER: (MOTHER/FATHER)

As a mother, the character is primarily responsible for the spiritual well being of their community and rooting out heresy, but many mothers end up amassing secular political power due to the influence they have over their congregation. Due to the tenets of the Chantry, this title is only available to women, except in the Tevinter Imperium, where the title of father is only available to men.

THIRD TIER: (GRAND CLERIC)

Characters at this level become one of the Grand Clerics, overseeing the Chantry’s operations in a whole nation or major region. Again, women are selected for this position in honor of Andraste’s gender, while the opposite is true for men in Tevinter. Grand Clerics oversee numerous followers and lower Chantry officials and many are tasked with special projects or allowed to pursue certain personal interests by the Divine. Operating at this tier provides incredible power within the Chantry but the responsibilities are exceptionally high and duties constant.


Antivan Merchant

Thanks to shrewd business sense (and possibly judicious use of the Antivan Crows)  an individual controls significant trade within Antiva, and has earned the title of merchant prince or merchant queen. These titles are first and foremost concerned with wealth over the loyalty of underlings, so any troops a character commands are likely mercenaries.

FIRST TIER: (MERCHANT PRINCE/QUEEN)

The character is the head of a small trading firm or the trusted lieutenant of a more powerful prince or queen. They have access to a lifestyle far above most Antivan citizens, but are not quite respected enough to be much involved in the country’s affairs.

SECOND TIER: (WEALTHY MERCHANT PRINCE/QUEEN)

This tier can only be claimed after amassing large amounts of personal wealth and influence, roughly double the normal amount for this tier. However, it brings with it access to the inner circles of Antivan politics and a certain grudging respect from the other titans of commerce. It may also make the character an even larger target for assassins.


Dwarven Noble

Nobility is largely a matter of birth within dwarven society, and thus this title is rarely bestowed upon a character later in life. Should a dwarf  achieve this, though, they can expect to be granted an estate in Orzammar and a vote in the Assembly.  Surface dwarves are not allowed to return to Orzammar except in the rarest of cases and are stripped of any caste connections, though their prior standing may persist among other surface dwarves.

FIRST TIER: (MINOR NOBLE)

The noble is the head of a minor noble house in good standing with the Assembly. The easiest method of achieving this title is to be born into it and assume power after the death of a parent, but isn’t unheard of for some low-born dwarves to rise to the nobility after finding old genealogical records proving their rank in the lost thaigs.

SECOND TIER: (MAJOR NOBLE)

The noble is the head of a major noble house and commands a small personal army of warrior caste dwarves. They also have considerable standing within the Assembly, allowing them to influence the legislative process of Orzammar to their own ends.

THIRD TIER: (PARAGON)

Through some great deed that benefits all dwarves, the Dwarf is declared a Paragon of dwarven society— a living Ancestor. They are made the head of a noble house (if they are not one already) and their words are considered all but law. A Paragon has access to nearly all the resources Orzammar can bring to bear. Note that this title is so rarely bestowed that a Paragon only appears once every few generations.


Circle Enchanter

The Circle of Magi is composed of numerous philosophical fraternities tied together in a web of temporary alliances and rivalries. Though by no means as cutthroat as the Orlesian court, the politics of the Circle can still be vicious. However, there is one thing all members respect, and that is knowledge. This title offers little access to money or soldiers, but it makes up for thatwith access to a cadre of loyal mages.

FIRST TIER: (CIRCLE INSTRUCTOR)

The mage is considered to be a respected instructor within the Circle. Though they command little official power, their status means other members look up to them and value their opinions.

SECOND TIER: (SENIOR ENCHANTER)

The mage is a Senior Enchanter, one of the Circle’s dedicated leaders. This position allows them access to the Circle’s trove of artifacts, as well as greater freedom to operate independently in the larger world. It is also likely they are considered a philosophical trendsetter, and thus looked to by the other mages in their faction.

THIRD TIER: (FIRST ENCHANTER)

As First Enchanter, the mage is responsible for an entire nation’s Circle of Magi. They may set the tone for how their mages are educated and just how harshly to deal with apostates. They also have access to extremely powerful artifacts that are handed over to the Circle for safekeeping, though it is assumed they possess the wisdom to know not to use such dangerous tools. They may also be elected the leader of their fraternity.


Nevarran Dragon Hunter

Nevarra is ruled over by the Pentaghast clan, who maintain control chiefly through their highly trained military. Among the most dangerous and devoted of these warriors are the Nevarran dragon hunters. These men and women study, track, and learn to destroy dragons. They are less an organization and more of a profession, but a very elite and dangerous one. There are no formal rankings or titles within the dragon hunters, and no official orders. Instead, status and reputation based on successful hunts determine how esteemed and valuable this title is.

FIRST TIER: (FLEDGLING HUNTER)

One has begun their career as a dragon hunter. At this stage they are largely unproven, but have access to the lore and wisdom of experienced dragon hunters, who know more about the creatures they fight than perhaps anyone in Thedas.

SECOND TIER: (BLOODED HUNTER)

Once one has actually killed a dragon, they are considered a respected member of the profession. They can more readily get aid or insight from fellow hunters, apprentices may seek them out, and they have a good enough reputation that they may be able to organize especially prestigious or dangerous hunts with multiple hunters. In addition, these warriors are respected and feared throughout Nevarra and often can gain influence and favor with nobles whose lands they help protect from dragonkind.

THIRD TIER: (LEGENDARY HUNTER)

Only those who defeat a high dragon or multiple lesserdragons achieve this lofty reputation. Widely recognizedas among the greatest dragon hunters in the world, legendary dragon hunters are highly sought after and their peers will volunteer in large numbers to aid them on hunts, due to their record of success. Many Nevarran nobles and other wealthy or influential citizens will offer to provide resources to these hunters in order to share in the fame generated by their success.


Elven Elder

The Dalish have their Keepers and under them the First, with one of each for each clan. These elders command great respect, but their resources are limited by those of the clan; in some cases very limited. City elves have similar elders they respect and honor. It is very rare, but not unheard of, for elves of the alienage to advance among the Dalish and vice versa.

FIRST TIER: (FIRST/ALIENAGE ELDER)

The Elf is an elder within an elven alienage or a First under a Dalish Keeper. “Elder” is rarely a codified position, but it carries with it great social weight. Such standing is usually reserved for the aged, but some younger elves of great wisdom or renown may be accorded equal respect. Elven elders lack the hard power of most titled characters, but they wield a great deal of soft power among their close-knit people, who look to them for guidance in running all aspects of their community. By comparison the Dalish have a stricter hierarchy. There is one First per clan, and they serve immediately under the Keeper. Firsts are respected and their clan will usually heed their advice and aid them, though the practical nature of the Dalish and limited resources make unreasonable requests or aid that comes with a high cost hard to come by.

SECOND TIER: (KEEPER/HONORED ELDER)

The Elf is an honored elder of an alienage or a Dalish Keeper, one of the wise mages looked to by the Dalish clans to help them regain their lost culture. In both cases, they are responsible for guiding and protecting their people, which may include anywhere from several dozen to several hundred elves. Because of this burden and their formal titles, most Keepers are wholly dedicated to their responsibilities, adventuring only when it is necessary for their clan’s well being. By contrast, honored elders of an alienage have more freedom, but their authority is less codified, which makes organizing large efforts and resources more difficult.


Carta Leader

One has achieved the highest stature available to a casteless dwarf—that of a criminal leader. Through a combination of theft, smuggling, and potentially even murder, they have taken command of enough casteless to wield true clout in the lawless vacuum hidden beneath Orzammar’s regimented society.

FIRST TIER: LIEUTENANT

As a lieutenant of the Carta, the dwarf oversees operation of one area of the syndicate’s shady business. They likely command some amount of fearful respect among casteless and surface dwarves, but are despised by any “respectable” members of dwarven society.

SECOND TIER: (BOSS)

The character is considered a Carta boss, and commands the loyalty of up to 100 thugs and thieves. They also personally control numerous illicit and front businesses, funneling a percentage of the profits directly to their personal coffers. The constant threat of arrest and assassination makes this a dangerous title to hold, but the money to be found providing the illicit goods that keep the upper castes running make it a lucrative position.


Mercenary Leader

The nature of warfare in Thedas makes the existence of mercenary companies a fact of life. Though fighting for coin will never be seen as noble work, many companies have earned a measure of respect for their competence and bravery.

FIRST TIER: (CAPTAIN)

the captain of a group of soldiers within a larger mercenary force. Such companies usually number up to 100 fighting men and women, and may operate with limited independence in order to secure smaller contracts on behalf of the larger force. Captains may have great freedom to handle their soldiers as they see fit, but most mercenary commanders will check in from time to time to make sure their organization is being well represented.

SECOND TIER: (COMPANY COMMANDER)

Whether they were promoted through the ranks of an existing company or founded their own, the commander of a company controls a fighting force of 400+ soldiers as a mercenary commander. The men and women under their command are unlikely to display any great loyalty, though, unless the deal is fair and the money is good. Representatives of various governments may seek the company’s services, but they are unlikely to treat the character with anything more than the barest respect due a competent servant.


Templar Knight

As the martial wing of the Chantry, the templars wield great influence within the realms of Thedas. Whether they are guarding a Chantry or rooting out heresy, the people see the templars as stalwart defenders of the faith, if sometimes a bit overzealous. Officially, the templars only have access to the resources they need to perform their duties; however, some unscrupulous members of the order are not above soliciting “donations” from those under their protection.

FIRST TIER: (KNIGHT-CAPTAIN)

A knight-captain is one of the field leaders of the templars, overseeing actual operations of the Chantry’s martial division. Propelled by a strong faith and a talent for leading men in battle, one can rise to this rank. They are granted command over several dozen templars, and likely tasked with overseeing the defense of an area considered important to the Chantry, though some detachments are sent into the countryside to hunt apostates and demons.

SECOND TIER: (KNIGHT-COMMANDER)

The Templar is a templar knight-commander in charge of an area of Chantry interest. Such areas may be geographic, such as bannorns, or administrative, such as each country’s Circle of Magi. They are able to direct a force of several hundred well-trained Templars as they see fit in order to carry out the wishes of their superiors within the Chantry. A knight-commander answers directly to the revered mother of their jurisdiction.

THIRD TIER: (KNIGHT-VIGILANT)

Commanding a whole nation’s templars, the Knight-Vigilant is at the top of their order’s hierarchy. The Knight-Vigilant has immense power over others in their order, able to field large forces of templars for various operations. The Knight-Vigilant answers to the Chantry’s Grand Cleric in the nation where they have their command.


Seeker of Truth

Members of the Andrastian order the Seekers of Truth traditionally answer only to the Divine of the Chantry. A small order tasked with investigation and elimination of threats both inside and outside the Chantry, it also roots out corruption within the templars and Chantry. The Seekers hold authority over the templars, especially in matters pertaining to the investigation of improper conduct and corruption. Most Seekers were once templars themselves, recruited for their loyalty, skill, and devotion to duty. A Seeker may also serve the Chantry as a Knight-Divine, but that is not necessary to belong to the order.

FIRST TIER: (SEEKER)

A Seeker is an agent of the Chantry and answers only to the Lord Seeker and the Divine. The seeker has overwhelming authority in their investigations, able to command templars and other Chantry officials in the course of their work. A Seeker can be sent on numerous missions to investigate or eliminate threats to the Chantry. As the order is small, a Seeker has limited manpower at their direct disposal, but can co-opt other Chantry forces if the need is great.

SECOND TIER: (LORD SEEKER)

There is only one Lord Seeker, who runs the organization and traditionally reports directly to the Divine. Given the small size of the Seekers of Truth, the Lord Seeker often takes a more active role in operations than leaders in larger organizations, but they will still have important duties which might hinder opportunities for certain types of adventure.


Extracted and compiled from the Dragon Age Tabletop RPG by bloodypenofferelden More to come!

I’m sorry I’m asking for help!!
We are $80 short on utilities and Spencer doesn’t start his new job until after thanksgiving. I’ve been consigning the baby’s old stuff like crazy but nobody buys clothes and we don’t have a lot of big ticket sellers that aren’t stained and beaten because we got them secondhand already…
Our new place is cheaper and we have roommates but we had to scrap one of our two cars after finding out the person we bought it from lied about it being in good condition(second time that’s happened…)so Spencer couldn’t work at his old job anymore because of distance and travel time after his tech school classes which are 7-3 weekdays and an hour away from home.
I just got a referral for 60 days of free daycare for Oliver, so I have also been applying for work and I have an interview today for amazon because they are 3 miles away and I can bike there…
but the GI BILL goes off of school days and it was a couple hundred short this month because of hurricane days last month.
PLEASE if y'all could help until we get working and have more income that would be amazing 😢
PayPal is thedemigeeks@gmail.com
Please signal boost. All the utilities are in my name because everyone else didn’t wanna make the phone calls. 😓 my credit is tanked already and we have been trying hard to bring it back up.

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North African Pirates in 17th Century Iceland

The Barbary Corsairs were a large band of infamous pirates from the Barbary States, now comprised of Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.  Between the 17th and 19th century the Barbary Pirates were the terror of the high seas, raiding throughout the Mediterranean, but also raiding as far north of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Scandinavia.  Craving wealth, they often struct Spanish treasure fleets contained gold, silver, and jewels from the New World.  In fact they took whatever was of value with which they could make some money with.  One of their most lucrative items were slaves, and between the 17th and 19th centuries it is estimated that the Barbary Pirates abducted between 800.000 and 1.25 million people.

One of the Barbary Pirate’s most remote targets was Iceland.  At the time Iceland was an easy pick, they had few weapons, no organized military, and little violence had occurred on the island since the days of the Vikings.  In 1627, a Barbary fleet under the command of Dutch pirate  Jan Janszoon sailed north toward Iceland on a raiding mission.  They arrived at Iceland on June 20th and over the next month raided villages along the eastern and southern coasts.  While Iceland was a soft target, it also didn’t sport many riches.  At best all the pirates found was salted fish and furs.  So the Barbary Pirates decided to take the one thing in Iceland that was of value; slaves.  During the raids 400 Icelanders were abducted to be sold into slavery. Scores of others were killed. Other sources estimate as high as 900 or 1,000, although primary Icelandic sources stick to 400.  The Barbary Pirates were also lucky to have caught some incoming ships from the Netherlands, England, and Denmark, which made the expedition worthwhile.  The 400 Icelanders were sold into slavery at Barbary markets in North Africa.  Among the slaves were Olafur Egilsson, a Lutheran Minister who later wrote an account of his life in captivity, and Guðríður Símonardóttir, who became a concubine until she was personally brought back by King Christian IV of Denmark.  Of the 400 Icelanders abducted, 27 returned home.  In Iceland, the raids were known as the “Turkish Raids” or “Turkish Abductions” since the Barbary States were a part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire at the time.

The Barbary Pirates continued their raiding and plundering for the next two centuries.  In the early 19th century a combined fleet of British, French, Spanish, Dutch, and American warships made war on the Barbary States, which greatly reduced their power.  The end of the Barbary Pirates came in 1830 when France conquered and occupied Algeria.

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(Zionist occupation forces kidnapping a 12-year-old Palestinian child in occupied Jerusalem today.)

Zionist occupation forces kidnapped only last month 800 Palestinian children, killed 25 children during the last two months…Killed 530 children last year, ITS a Declared Zionist occupation war against Palestinian children, 17 December 2015.

flickr

SH2-171 by Luca Argalia
Via Flickr:
Dati: 18 x 10 min. 800 Iso + 3 Dark + 25 flat e darkflat software: Iris e Photoshop CS2 Strumenti: ottica Takahashi FSQ106 f/5 su Skywatcher EQ6 pro - Canon 40D CentralDS. 29/07/2016 - Monte Romano (RA), Temp. esterna: 19,5° C temperatura al sensore -3,5°C - Umidità 75%

What airplane is now the largest commercial plane, the new Boeing 747-8 or the Airbus A380?

Going by the numbers, while the new Boeing 747-8 is slightly longer than the Airbus A380-800, at 76.25 meters compared to the A380-800’s length of 73 meters, the A380-800 is still taller, has a larger wingspan and has a higher maximum take off weight.

However … neither the Boeing 747-8 nor Airbus A380-800 are the largest commercial aircraft presently flying through the skies.  The largest commercial aircraft in operation is in fact the massive Antonov AN-225 Mriya.

The AN-225, which entered service in December 1988, is very distinctive with six engines, three per wing and two tails. The AN-225s fuselage length is a mind blowing 84 meters, its wing span is 88.4 meters, its cargo capacity can swallow up a massive 46,000 cubic feet of cargo and its maximum take off weight is an unbelievable 1,323,000 pounds!

By comparison, the Boeing 747-8F can hold 30,177 cubic feet of cargo with a maximum take off weight of 975,000 pounds. The Airbus A380-800F can hold 40,000 cubic feet of cargo with a maximum take off weight of 1,200,000 pounds.

It should be noted that Airbus has not produced a cargo version of the Airbus A380 at this time and has no cargo customers on the books for an A380-800F. The current Boeing 747-8 aircraft undergoing tests for certification are all cargo aircraft, the 747-8F. There is presently only a single AN-225 in service and it is cargo only.  These three aircraft however are the three largest commercial aircraft currently flying and the design of the AN-225 makes it uniquely capable of loading massive items in a way the Airbus A380F would not be able to, should Airbus source cargo variant customers.

Above is a compassion graphic of the 747-400, A380-800 and AN-225 that was supplied to me by Antonov a while back.

Pioneer 10 and the Asteroid Belt

Today is the 43rd anniversary of the launch of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft, launched March 2, 1972.  Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to cross the asteroid belt and would continue on past Jupiter.  The word asteroid was coined in 1802 by English astronomer William Herschel by Anglicizing the Ancient Greek word asteroeides, itself a combination of the word aster (star) and eidos (form). A musician and scientist, Herschel is known for discovering Uranus and its two moons as well as infrared radiation. He was also fascinated by binary and multiple star systems, expecting their movements (and parallax) to shed light on the size and nature of the universe; he tracked and cataloged over 800 systems over a 25 year period using a 6 inch telescope that he built himself. He was know to have had a hand in building over 400 telescopes during his long career, including several very large telescopes with which he performed ‘deep sky’ surveys, cataloging 2400 objects including many nebulae. Despite his massive contribution to astronomy, including the discovery of Uranus which he attempted to name the Georgian planet after King George III of England, the only word he contributed remains asteroid.  After 31 years in space, Pioneer 10 sent its last message back to Earth on January 23, 2003.  Pioneer 10 is currently just over 10 billion miles from Earth.


Artist’s rendering of Pioneer 10 in space courtesy NASA in the public domain.