1) From an earlier post I did, Zoe Brain mentions in the comments that:
"...I strongly suggest the USN mandate regular doses of a new prophylactic anti-radiation medication for all crew, of SSNs, SSBNs and SSGNs, past and present.
"This drug has been tested by crew of RAN submarines for many years, and has been found most effective. We have had zero cases of radiological illness from service on board RAN boats since they first came into service, in 1915."
Of course, Aussie boats are all non-nuclear, so I'm not surprised that they haven't had radiation illness problems. The anti-radiation medication mentioned ("Beer", for those who don't click links) has been found to have several other benefits for submariners as well -- as long as it's cold. Check it out...
As you know, a calorie is defined as "the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1° C". A standard 12 oz beer (or any cold drink) has 355 ml, or about 350 grams (for ease of computation) of liquid, and contains around 250 calories, give or take. Now, if a submariner were to drink a cold beer, it would naturally heat up in his stomach. If the cold beer is at 2° C (about 35F) and heats up to normal body temperature before being eliminated (about 37° C), then the body would use, umm... (35 times 350 -- carry the two---) 12,250 calories just heating up the liquid. Subtract the 250 calories he got from the beer, that would mean he'd burned 12,000 calories just by drinking the beer! Since you lose 1 pound of fat for every 2000 extra calories burned, the submariner just lost six pounds! This would be a great way to get guys within body fat limits when PFA ("Physical Fitness Assessment") season rolls around. (Note: Those who are confused by my calculations, or think I made a mistake with the definition of food calorie vs. heat calorie, will receive my standard response I use at BlameBush! : "Don't repress me with your so-called logic!")
2) The mind is a tricky thing. On Wednesday, I mentioned "old school" video games; for some reason, that got me thinking about Defender. See, I was the neighborhood champion at Defender back before I joined the Navy. (Those of you who never played Defender missed out; it was the first game where you couldn't just win by memorizing a pattern. As I recall, it was even the first side-scrolling game.)
Back to the tricky mind part. Somehow, in thinking about the game, I remembered a song from the darkest, unused portions of my brain that I had made up to sing while playing Defender back in 1981. Set to the tune of "Big Iron" by Marty Robbins, it went something like this:
"The mutants were upon him as the swarmers gathered round,
They thought for sure they had him 'til they heard the fatal sound...
They might have gone on living but they made the fatal slip,
The Defender on the mountain had a smart bomb on his ship.
(Smart bomb on his ship....)"
If I was good, I'd use a smart bomb to finish the level just as I sang the fourth line... very kewl if it worked out. The neighborhood girls who hung out in the video game parlor would be very impressed; I even started dating one, and -- except for her ripping my heart out and stomping all over it, laughing the whole time, making me an emotional wreck and causing me to join the Navy just to leave town -- it all worked out pretty well.
3) It looks like President Bush is coming to Idaho! Coming on the heels of Vice President Cheney's visit here tomorrow, rumors are that President Bush will visit Idaho after speaking at the VFW convention in SLC on Saturday. His rumored destination is McCall, a resort town about 100 miles north of Boise where my in-laws live (and youngest son Pantherfan is now for a short visit). President Clinton flew in there six years ago, for forest fire inspections. Pretty exciting for us backwoods types here in The Gem State (home of the "scalped punker teen girl").
4) Ninme, as always, has lots of great content that I spent quite a while going through; she even got permalinked by one of the bigger blogs, and demonstrates her usual sense of ladylike propriety in announcing it.
5) Oh, and for a real submarine related news item, it looks like the Russians have started the blame game for the rescue of AS-28. Based on what I've read, though, the team responsible for breaking the Russian rescue submersible probably had it coming...