Top Secret Travel via Google Earth

June 8, 2008

russian-sub-murmansk290.jpgIn another life I was an imagery analyst in the military. Locked away in a bunker somewhere looking at images of all sorts from a myriad of sources. I enjoyed the stereoscopic work most of all, handling and caressing one dimensional data in a three dimensional illusion. It is an entirely convincing world – gamers understand the inclination to twist your head to look under a bridge – when there is nothing to look under. There is none of that adventure with Google Earth (regrettably) but I can easily find myself distracted by it nonetheless, taking myself on travels to places I have been, and others I have not – except in that three dimensional illusionary world. Let’s take a little journey to places that hint of that world. Read more

Russia Sexes it Up

December 16, 2007

Delta IVWhen I first started really paying attention to the Russian navy (I think it was a P3C Orion flight that did it) the Russians had been poking around in this part of the world for years. Sending their subs out into the Pacific and holidaying in Vietnam at Cam Ranh Bay with their warships for more years than anyone except the cash strapped Vietnamese cared for. Read more

Japanese Kill Sailors – Then Shake Hands

August 6, 2007

I understand those of my grandfathers generation who never wanted to speak about the Japanese (or Germans) or only spoke about them with hatred. But I am always moved by those who experienced those times and who have been able to get past the wrongs, and if unable to forgive, are at least able to make up. There are numerous stories about former adversaries who have not only made up but who have been active in social programs in each others countries building something positive and of use to the citizens. A story of a group of Australian soldiers going to Japan after the war and building an orphanage comes to mind – at a time when everyone else was screaming for revenge.

in 1942 the Japanese took a couple of torpedo shots at USS Chicago moored in Sydney Harbour, missed and killed 21 sailors quartered in a ferry. The only living survivor, Neil Roberts, is seen here yesterday shaking the hands of the younger brother of the commander of that submarine, which had recently been located sunk off the Australian coast. Who can’t be moved by that image and understand there is more power in forgiveness than there is in revenge?