That Close Call Back in 1995 — The Norwegian Black Brant Incident,
In the past 60 years there have actually been several incidents where the world was almost plunged into a nuclear holocaust. Many of these incidents were purely accidental, caused by things like radar blips resulting from flocks of geese or faulty early warning detection satellites. One of the most interesting close calls occurred in Norway, and is unique in that the incident happened in 1995, after the end of the Cold War.
On January 25th, 1995 a team of Norwegian and American scientists launched the Black Brant VII rocket from the Andøya Space Center in Norway. The purpose of the rocket was to collect scientific data on the aurora borealis over the Arctic Ocean. The rocket reached an altitude of 903 miles and eventually splashed down in the ocean off the coast of Svalbard. At the time most of the world believed the rocket launch was a routine test that occurred without incident. However, little did anyone know, the Russians nearly shit their pants over it.
The rocket traveled over an air corridor that stretches from minuteman III rocket sites in North Dakota. The scientists notified 30 countries, including Russia, of the launch, however the Russian government failed to pass on news of the launch to the Russian President and to the military. Russian early warning radar systems in Murmansk detected the object, which had a similar speed and flight pattern to that of a US Navy Trident missile. Immediately Russian High Command went on full alert, fearing the United States was launching a nuclear missile. While a single missile launch may not seem much of a threat compared to thousands of missiles in an all out nuclear strike, one possible scenario that the Russians feared was that of a high altitude nuclear detonation used as a prelude to all out nuclear war. A nuclear warhead would be detonated high in the atmosphere over Russia, and the resulting electromagnetic pulse would knock out the electrical grid, communications grid, and radar over a large portion of the country, leaving Russia completely vulnerable to an all out attack.
The full alert initiated by the rocket launch went all the way up to Russian President Boris Yeltsin. The Russian nuclear briefcase containing command codes was opened, the only time in history a nation’s nuclear briefcase was ever opened. This was especially scary because Boris Yeltsin had a reputation for being a hard drinker. Yeltsin’s alcohol problems were so bad that he was often drunk in public, at one point allegedly being found wandering the streets of Washington D.C. half naked after a particularly hard bender during a diplomatic visit.
As luck would have it, Boris Yeltsin was perfectly sober on January 25th, 1995, and thus he made a very wise decision to not retaliate but take a wait and see approach. Soon, it was realized that the rocket was traveling away from, not towards Russia, and thus was not a ballistic missile being fired at Russia. 24 minutes after launch, the rocket returned to Earth harmlessly. Disaster had been averted once again.
What is especially disturbing about the Norwegian rocket incident was that it occurred in the 1990′s at a time when Russian - American relations were at a peak. This wasn’t the middle of the Cold War, this wasn’t the Cuban Missile Crises with Nikita Khrushchev shouting “we will bury you!” while slamming his shoe on a podium. This was at at time when there was absolutely no reason to go to nuclear war. It just goes to show that in the modern nuclear age, even at the best of times civilization hangs on a very fine thread.
totally random, but i started watching transformers prime on netflix (actually quite fun!) and like everyone is all “starscream you suck at leading, blah blah blah” but like, chain smoker seeker SIC StarScream totally lead the decepticons for like 3 slagging years?? while Megs was off on his space spiritual journey of procrastination??? and managed to not only continue successfully operating mining of a resource in numerous locations, but did it so well that the autobots literally thought the decepticons had left the planet??
like, how does someone manage to hide the fact that giant robots are going all over the world and sneaking around to loudly dig underground and keep it all from radar detection??? dude, starscream is the shit
Detecting Evil: How to sniff out the forces of darkness without ruining your campaign.
Imagine, for a moment, that you are starting the beginning of your campaign. The Players you’re running though this represent all corners of the alignment chart. The character you’re going to have set up as the final boss is going to have a very close relationship with the heroes, and plans on manipulating them for some time before the big reveal. It’s going to be great, this will be a story that everyone will remember forever thanks to the -
“I cast Detect Evil.”
The Paladin says, and you have no choice but to reveal that not only are two of his group mates are evil, but so is the charming questgiver you’re about to set everyone up with. WHO THE PALADIN SMITES, SON OF BITCH TIM, WHAT THE HELL-
Ladies and gentleman, I give you the dual problem of utilizing Detect Evil and other Know Alignment spells like an infallible radar and Tim, that player who gives paladins a bad name. I can’t help Dungeon Masters with the latter except by using this blog to encourage some quality paladin behavior from chronic lost causes like Tim. Dammit Tim.
I can, however, help prospective dungeon masters figure out ways to prevent Detect Evil being used as campaign derailer, and in fact use it as a tool that enriches the experience for everyone.
Now, the simplest solution is simply banning all know alignment spells. This is every DM’s right, and if you know the people who are playing would blatantly abuse the spell at every opportunity, then I encourage you to cut it out. But I believe that Detect Evil can be utilized several different ways to improve the overall role playing experience.
Now, the easiest way to turn this evil detecting radar spell into something more than a habitual cast done whenever a player gets mildly suspicious is to make it much more ambiguous and fallible. Take, for example a paladin walking through a crowded city street. Someone yells, “Stop, thief!” and the paladin immediately activates her detect evil spell to track down the culprit. If we’re using detect evil as an infallible radar, she immediately pin points the direction of the thief, and begins pursuit. Or, instead, when she casts the spell, she’s immediately bombarded by the myriad negative feelings experienced daily on a crowded city street. The DM can describe several different unpleasant sensations associated with the many faces of human cruelty, and the thief, hungry and desperate, is in fact the least among this storm of sensations that assault the Paladin. She can then choose which feeling to investigate, not knowing if she’s right until she’s there. Maybe they find the thief. Maybe they find something much worse. Either way, the dungeon master’s made this a far more interesting experience than having detect evil be utilized as a flawless evil detecting radar.
Evil should also feel different depending on what the paladin is dealing with. A child being bullied by their tormentor shouldn’t have the same sensation when entering the den of a serial killer. If you use the five senses to help describe a person’s alignment, then you should consider associating increasingly vile moralities have correspondingly offensive sensations. A moment of pure envy and hate from an otherwise stable and decent person should feel like a bad smell mixing with the odor of an otherwise delicious meal, versus coming toe to toe with an evil god, who’s spiritual scent should reminiscent of rotten meat and death. Maybe even throw in a constitution check just to underline the consequence of trying to detect evil when it’s especially volatile.
There’s also ways of utilizing alignment checks rpwise during combat. Say your paladin is fighting a foe they can’t see, thanks to invisibility, an abundance of darkness, or they’ve been physically blinded during battle. They use Detect Evil to even the playing field against their foe, and the DM can use the opportunity to describe to frightening detail what an evil soul might look like when the rest of the visual spectrum is cancelled out. Maybe they just see the monster their enemy really is. Maybe they see all the evil things they’ve done spread across their enemy like an unholy cancer. This is an opportunity to make the Paladin actually be afraid for a moment.
In turn, the same can be done for evil alignments fighting good. But instead of seeing something frightening, they see the intense light of their enemy’s soul, blinding in it’s own right.
You can also use it to throw some moral quandaries the paladin’s way. For example, what if everyone beeps as evil in some way? What if the paladin can sense their own personal darkness latched onto them, waiting? How can you fight evil when evil is everyone? My answer is by forgiving people of their flaws and moving forward best you can. But what would your paladin do?
A massive high-frequency over-the-horizon radar system designed to detect incoming ICBM’s and bombers from america as soon as they got launched/took off, so powerful in fact it constantly interfered with radio transmissions and communications all over the world, to the point some appliances were designed to filter out the signal.
There are literally 1000s of bars to choose from in NYC. 1000s. 100s of bars known to be LGBT bars. Bars one could go and completely slip under the radar. Not detected by anyone.
But Darren chooses, yet again, while untethered in NYC, to go to the most famous LGBT bar in the world. And sing Karaoke. Inviting people to take video and post it for the world to see.
Nights like this. They are deliberate. That is Darren talking. Screaming almost. Just like telling Hedwig stories about kissing male porn stars. Just like wearing a shirt that says “God Save the Queer.” Just like taking LGBT+ role after LGBT+ role.
He’s constantly speaking in the ways he is able.
And it is up to us. All of us. Not just us crazy tinhatters. To listen to what he is saying.
*sends a microscope for Doc, snakeskin belt for Ed, radar that detects bad guys for Silver, classical and jazz piano sheet music for Dark, model portal guns for the googles, a large and delicate buttercup flower for Bim, (more) bubbles for Wilford, and the collection of the Chronicles of Narnia hardback for the Host* Everyone needed something, so... I hope you all like it
(This all for tonight, folks! I’m tuckered out!)
Oliver gathers up all the gifts into a giant, cardboard box and lifts it onto his shoulder, using the other hand to pat your head. “Thank you! I will deliver these right away!”
Doc sets the new microscope on his desk gently and smiles brightly.
Ed tries on the new belt with a nod. “Nice!”
Silver immediately races off after the radar picks up a bad guy.
Dark riffles through the sheet music nodding a bit here and there. “Not bad.”
The Googles start testing out the portal guns right away, pushing dummies through to see if they’re safe to use. Oliver won’t let them use him anymore.
Bim sets his new flower in the window of his office with a smile, and Poppy curls up next to it.
Wilford immediately opens the new bottle of bubbles and blows them at Oliver, who giggles.
Host is so flattered by the books that he traces his fingers over the fine spines of his new collection with a smile. “The Host is most grateful…”
Oliver heads back to the Googles’ floor with a happy smile on his face and his new stuffed otter tucked under his arm. It’s been a good day at the new Ego Inc.
Drozd (Дрозд - thrush) active protection system, the world first system of its kind.
Drozd uses 24.5 GHz Doppler radar to detect incoming rounds travelling between 70 (230) and 700 (2,300) meters (feet) per second, as to avoid engaging small arms or other faster projectiles. Its computer determines when to fire a 107 mm projectile. When the incoming round is at 7 m (27 feet) range, the Drozd fragmentation warhead detonates, spreading 3-gram slugs to destroy the incoming round.
Found partially successful, as while it increased tank survivability to up to 80% during rocket attacks, it proved to create enormous collateral damage, as the detonating warhead created causalities among friendly forces close to the vehicle.
Withdrawn from service shortly after this problem was encountered, and eventually replaced by the more secure Arena (Арена).
Born to bring all the kindness they harbour to the world. Usually have that one event in their life that they will interpret as an awakening and source of courage. They have a very sensitive radar that detects any sort of discrimination. Tea enthusiasts. Golden-paired with an over-educated (does overeducation exist?) Ravenclaw INTP that quotes Shakespeare dramas all the time. Foreign language experts.
"Cute and shy"-person until it´s time to dance! Or write. Or sing. Or act. Anything goes, you know, Hufflepuff INFJs see art in anything. They like to spend weeks in isolation, their laptops are always overheated. Their ESFJ friends from Gryffindor back them up in social environments. Known for their eloquence and hidden flirty side. Benedict Cumberbatch-like in terms of politeness, humour and charm.
Fox Mulder much? They´re out for the truth and they will hunt it down. INFJ Ravenclaws are professional social network lurkers. Proficient at astrology, tarot, and Harry Potter trivia of course. Humanitarians at heart, and unable to insult someone directly. Their eyes are sparkly, ahhhhh <3 Like to go to the funfair with their ESTJ friends from Hufflepuff. Foreign language connoisseurs like their Gryffindor counterparts.
Their intelligence and imagination have no boundaries. The classic mind-blowers in high school, their countless theories attracting many curious ESTPs from Ravenclaw. Seem to be above everything, floating on a rain cloud. Talk like Marilyn Manson in basically every interview he did. Slytherin INFJs can shower for two hours straight because they fantasize so much. Either a professional hacker or a lost soul on tumblr. Or a passionate designer.
The military capabilities of Magvel’s countries are lightly touched upon in-story, with Grado being known for having the strongest army and Frelia’s military keeping Grado’s at bay “against all odds.” How does each country’s military hold up, given what we see of their armies? It’s time to find out.
As Grado is noted in-story to have the strongest military might, let’s start with them. To begin with, one of their greatest advantages is sheer numbers. Even in his own campaign, Ephraim avoids engaging Grado’s main force directly because their numbers are just too overwhelming, even with Frelia’s army backing him up.
On top of sheer numbers, they also have one of the most well-rounded armies of any country. They have swordfighters, lancer, axe users, magic users, healers, fliers, archers, cavaliers–you name it. As a result, they also have a wide breadth of tactics available to them. With long-range tome users and fliers, they can make quick assaults on enemy forces, ambushing and scattering them. Cavalry could continue the rout and pursue fleeing enemy forces, while invasion of fortified strongholds could be carried out by mages, archers, and soldiers.
“Don’t freak out,” said Yondu. A cuff of blue fingers sealed on Kraglin’s wrist. The thumbnail – naturally pointed and, Kraglin assumed, in need of regular filing, like a rodent’s tooth – dug into his pulsepoint.
Kraglin wondered if cap'n felt it thump at those words. In his experience, pre-coital warnings meant he was in for fun.
“I won’t,” he promised, and managed not to sound like his mouth was watering.
He eyed the bulge in his captain’s pants, the one he’d set his sights on when he first got assigned to the 99th Regiment: a Nova deserter from the colonies, sour-faced and cynical, too old for his seventeen years. At the time, he thought that he’d seen enough of the galaxy to get his measure of it. He’d been wrong. But now, five years later, a Ravager (part of a banished faction any self-respecting scumbag would spit at), and a first mate at that (to a captain whose prowess on the battlefield was only marginally less infamous than his greatest sin: the breaking of Ogordian code) Kraglin’s cocksure confidence had returned.
He’d fucked his way through a decent selection of species. Been fucked by a couple as well – because hey, you had to try it, at least once. He was mature enough now, at the grand old age of twenty-two, to know his tastes. These were, in order: blue skin, attitude, a cock to suck, and something tight to dip his dick in.
Ilyushin Il-38N is an upgraded, more capable version of the Russian Navy’s Il-38 anti-submarine warfare aircraft. The new version is also capable of carrying out electronic intelligence (ELINT) missions. Besides, these aircraft can be used for mapping the magnetic and gravitational fields of the Northern Ice sea, and also for conducting scientific oceanographic research and underwater and air reconnaissance. The Il-38N is fitted with the Novella sensor package which dramatically expands the combat capabilities of the aircraft against underwater, surface and airborne targets. The new sensor includes radar, high resolution thermal imaging system, a magnetic anomaly detection system, an electro-optical detection system (including laser, TV and thermal channels), gravitational anomaly detector and other equipment. The radar has a maximum detection range of 320 kilometers. According to the Russian Navy’s public statements the majority of surviving Il-38 aircraft will be upgraded to the Il-38N configuration. The first Il-38N aircraft was introduced into service by the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet in early March 2012.
Because there’s no such thing as too much fluffy Christmas Destiel! ❄
gripped the edge of the sink, his knuckles turning white. He’d fled to the
kitchen supposedly to check on that huge turkey in the oven, but honestly he’d
just felt overwhelmed and he’d been looking for a moment alone.
yeah, it was a good kind of overwhelmed. But overwhelmed nonetheless. Because
everyone was here. And happy. And healthy. And for once the world wasn’t about to end. This was the
first Christmas that he got to properly celebrate with his mom, as an adult at
least, and while Dean was grateful, it also eerily reminded him of Djinn dreams
and pocket universes.
Sam here, Castiel here. Their friends here. Jody and the girls, Donna… All of
them were currently in the war room, talking over drinks beside the giant-ass Christmas
tree that Sam had insisted they’d get for the occasion.
Dean took a
deep breath, convincing himself that it was real, and most of all, that it
Are you feeling alright?”
sound of Castiel’s voice from behind him made him jump a bit, but when he
collected himself, Dean tentatively turned around and offered Cas a weak smile.
Cas was standing in the doorway, but took that as a sign to come closer, taking
a few steps towards Dean until he was close enough to touch Dean if he’d reach
out. Obviously the guy had some sort of special Dean-radar, always detecting
when something wasn’t quite right.
good… Really.” Dean muttered, rubbing the back of his neck. “Just
having a hard time believing that today is real because… everything is good. Too good maybe. Makes you wonder if it’s even
real, if you know what I mean?”
Dean…” Cas sighed, sounding almost wistful, his blue eyes soft yet
knew what was happening, Cas’ hand found his, and he intertwined their fingers.
Dean stared down at their hands in wonder, then back up at Castiel. The angel
looked a little more rumpled than usual without all of his overcoats and with
his tie loose and backwards, a faint blush on his cheeks, his hair
ruffled. Cas was truly feeling at home here these days - with Dean-, yet another thing that was too good to be true.
But true regardless,
Dean realized as Cas squeezed his hand, grounding him.
told you from the start though, haven’t I?” Castiel mused, now carefully placing
the palm of his free hand against Dean’s cheek, the warmth making Dean melt
into his touch. “Good things do happen.
Sometimes we have to wait a little longer before they do. I’m sorry you had to
wait this long, but I can assure you that it’s real…”
at each other, neither willing to break eye contact, and Dean caught himself
wondering if it would be extremely greedy for him to want just one more good thing today. When he
noticed how Cas’ eyes darted down to his lips, he figured that, perhaps no, it
wouldn’t be too much to ask, not this time.
know who was leaning in first, but they met somewhere in the middle, his lips against
Castiel’s for the very first time. Fingers tangled in hair, mouths explored and
noses brushed, neither of them pulling away until Sam barged into the kitchen,
accidentally interrupting them.
you two, sneaking away to do that?
And you don’t even have the excuse of mistletoe.” He teased them, but to
Dean’s relief otherwise his younger brother didn’t seem at all surprised to
catch Dean in the act of kissing their guardian angel.
both grinning when Sam left with a another beer and a playful roll of his eyes.
do happen, Dean. For the first time since they’d met in that barn all those years
ago, Dean genuinely dared to believe that Castiel had been speaking the truth