Monthly Archives: May 2020

Mystery of how Earth barely escaped an atomic bomb-scale mega meteor

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Credit: Wikipedia
Time for another Tunguska meteor theory.
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When a meteor zooms toward Earth at 45,000 mph with the strength 10-15 megatons of TNT—185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb—it could possibly take out the entire planet, says Syfy.

If something like that doesn’t scream total annihilation, it’s hard to say what does, except this time it just missed.

Scorched earth and flattened trees were all that was left of the mysterious object after it passed dangerously close to the Tunguska region of Siberia in 1908.

Theories have ranged from a black hole colliding with Earth to a clash of matter and antimatter to an alien spaceship crash-landing. An eyewitness even swore the sky was being ripped in two. But why no crater? No debris?

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The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man’s Survival in Warsaw 1939–45 by Władysław Szpilman

Books & Boots

At the edge of the compound, where one of the streets ran into it, there was an unoccupied space. Everyone was giving this spot a wide berth, never lingering there but casting glances of horror at it. Bodies lay there: the bodies of those killed yesterday for some crime or other, perhaps even for attempting to escape. Among the bodies of men were the corpses of a young woman and two girls with their skulls smashed to pieces. The wall under which the bodies lay showed clear traces of bloodstains and brain tissue. The children had been murdered by a favourite German method: seized by the legs, their heads swung violently against the wall. Large black flies were walking over the dead and the pools of spilt blood on the ground, and the bodies were almost visibly bloating and decaying in the heat. (The Pianist, page 99)


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To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 by Ian Kershaw (2015)

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A large percentage of conservatives (indeed, of U.S. adults) subscribe to a bizarre Bill Gates conspiracy theory

Why Evolution Is True

It’s unbelievable what Trump supporters, Republicans, and conservatives can bring themselves to believe, but this new Yahoo/YouGov poll shows that bizarre and unevidenced beliefs are held by a substantial proportion of not just those on the Right, but of all U.S. adults. This article (click on screenshot below) centers on both Bill Gates and the coronavirus, particularly a vaccine. The poll was conducted in May, and you can link to the main results by clicking on the screenshot below.

The most bizarre contention, debunked by Snopes, is that Bill Gates is using his money and promoting Covid-19 vaccinations to create an authoritarian country where everyone will be surveilled via the implantation of microchips (presumably inserted surreptitiously during vaccination).  As Snopes notes,

primary focus of that foundation, and of Gates’ philanthropy in general, is the reduction of inequalities in health outcomes, with a focus on the developing world. Via…

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A Line In The Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle That Shaped the Middle East by James Barr

Books & Boots

I had no idea the French were behaving so tyrannically’ (Winston Churchill, when informed how the French were planning to rig the supposedly ‘free’ elections to be held in Syria in 1943, quoted page 249)

One should kill the British wherever one finds them. They are pathological liars and that is how they have ruled the whole world. (French policeman chatting with a released Jewish terrorist, quoted on page 342)

This is a really shocking book about the long-running rivalry between the British and French in the Middle East from the outbreak of the First World War through to Britain’s ignominious withdrawal from Palestine in 1947. It makes you really despise, and even hate, the French for their corruption, cowardice, brutality and pomposity.

The book’s last part is a detailed account of Jewish terrorist campaigns against the British, not only in Palestine but in London, where…

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The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, 1898-1918 by Sean McMeekin

Books & Boots

Memorandum on revolutionizing the Islamic territories of our enemies (Title of a paper written in October 1914 by German archaeologist and Orientalist Max von Oppenheim which argued for enlisting the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire to call on the world’s Muslims to engage in a Holy War or jihad against the colonial powers, France and Great Britain)

This is a colourful and entertaining book about Germany’s military and diplomatic involvement with the Ottoman Empire during the Great War of 1914-18.

Kaiser Wilhelm’s enthusiasm for Islam

The first 80 pages or so provide background, describing Kaiser Wilhelm’s first state visit to Turkey in 1889 when he met the reigning Sultan, Abdul Hamid II, and his second visit in 1898 when Wilhelm grandiosely rode into Jerusalem through a breach specially made in its walls.

And they detail the very slow progress made on an ambitious commercial scheme to extend the railway line…

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