Combat drone launches drone. Spare parts for Minuteman system getting scarce.

The XQ-58A Valkyrie demonstrates the separation of the ALTIUS-600 small UAS in a test at the U.S. Army Yuma Proving Ground test range, Arizona on March 26, 2021. This test was the first time the weapons bay doors have been opened in flight. (Photo courtesy United States Air Force.)

The U.S. Air Force is working to develop drone fighters. Most recent test flight had the drone launch another drone.

All the original manufacturers for every component of the Minuteman ICBM system are either gone or the assembly lines have long since been shut down. That means USAF is using its own production facility to create the myriad of necessary spare parts.

4/6/21 – New Atlas – Valkyrie combat drone launches another drone during test flight – Imagine a drone fighter that accompanies a cutting-edge manned fighter such as an F-35. The escorting drone could carry a heavy load of bombs to multiply the strike power of a fighter. It could carry an assortment of air-to-air missiles to defend against other planes or air-to-ground missiles to strike radar or other defense assets.

Continue reading “Combat drone launches drone. Spare parts for Minuteman system getting scarce.”

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

Easter is the high point of the year for Christians.  On this day our Savior rose from the tomb after having suffered a brutal death at the hands of the Roman government, urged on by the religious leadership.

What’s the big deal?

On Good Friday, the death of Jesus paid in full the penalty for my sins, yours sins, and the sins of every person who ever lived or ever will live.

On Easter Sunday, His glorious resurrection proves his sacrifice was accepted by God the Father.

In rising from death, Jesus proved he had ultimate power over death, hell, and the devil.

By that sacrifice, our sins are forgiven, and we will enter heaven for eternity, not because of what we do or how nice we are, but solely because of His sacrifice on the cross.

A few selections of the wonderful and so comforting hymn Jesus Christ is Risen Today to help you celebrate. Go ahead, crank up the volume. First up is an organ only version:

For a beautiful processional:

King’s College Choir, Cambridge

The lyrics:

Continue reading “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”

Back (reverse) of 2019 currency issued in Venezuelan.

Previous post showed the obverse of the bills issued in June 2019. That post also discussed the hyperinflation that made it necessary to add a couple of zeros to the bills. Unfortunately by the time the largest bill was issued it was only worth less than one US dollar.

Here are the reverses (back) of the bills issued in June 2019:

10,000 Bs. S, equal to 1,000,000,000 Bs. F., yes one billion

Mausoleo del Libertador Simon Bolivar – Mausoleum of liberator Simon Bolivar

20,000 Bs. S, equal to 2,000,000,000 Bs. F.

Continue reading “Back (reverse) of 2019 currency issued in Venezuelan.”

Acme to replace Boeing as prime contractor on Space Launch System.

This blog does not discuss politics. Since I do discuss space exploration, I will cover an announcement from the new Biden administration that Boeing will be replaced as the prime contractor on the Space Launch System.

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for NASA. It will lift astronauts to space so they may explore the solar system.

(Article cross-posted from Nonprofit Update just because.)

Acme

The new prime contractor is Acme. You may have seen the products on television in the past.

The story has not received much publicity, so I’ll try to draw attention to this major change in federal policy.

Continue reading “Acme to replace Boeing as prime contractor on Space Launch System.”

Back (reverse) of Venezuelan currency issued in 2018.

Previous post illustrated the obverse (front) of the 2018 issue currency of Venezuela.

For your visual enjoyment, here is the reverse of these beautiful bills:

2 Bs. S., equal to 200,000 Bs. F.

(sorry, can’t quite read name of the bird)

5 Bs. S., equal to 500,000 Bs. F.

Sapito Rayado – striped sapitao

Continue reading “Back (reverse) of Venezuelan currency issued in 2018.”

Front (obverse) of 2019 currency issued in Venezuelan.

Ongoing hyperinflation in Venezuela was so severe after the conversion to Bolivar soberano (Bs.S) in August 2018 that far higher denomination currency had to be introduced in June 2019.

To illustrate the concept, the exchange rate at the end of July 2018 was 3,600,000 Bs. F. to $1. That would be equivalent to 36 Bs. S. to $1 using the new currency.

At the end of August 2018 the exchange rate was 90 Bs.S to $1. From 36 to 90 in a month.

At the end of December 2018, the exchange rate was 730 Bs. S to $1.00. That meant that the highest denomination note in circulation, the 500 Bs.S. was worth less than one US dollar. By the way it had been worth it $8.47 at the end of August 2018, just four months earlier.

By the time the new denominations were in circulation at the end of June 2019 the exchange rate was 7,880 Bs. S to $1. 

Oh, that 500 Bs. S. issued back in August 2018? It was worth $0.06 at the end of June 2019.

That one bill dropped from being worth US$8.47 in August 2018 all the way down to US$0.06 in June 2019.

The obverse (front) of the bills issued in June 2019:

10,000 Bs. S, equal to 1,000,000,000 Bs. F., yes one billion

Simon Bolivar

Continue reading “Front (obverse) of 2019 currency issued in Venezuelan.”

Front (obverse) of Venezuelan currency issued in 2018.

Inflation was so severe in Venezuela during the 2017 and 2018 timeframe that currency in circulation was worthless. In 2018 the government replaced the previous currency, called the Bolivar fuerte (Bs.F) with a new currency, called the Bolivar soberano (Bs. S). 

The exchange rate was 100,000 of the old Bs. F. for 1 of the new Bs. S. . Essentially that lopped five digits off currency and prices.

To illustrate the concept, the highest denominated old currency was 100,000 Bs. F. The lowest denominated new currency was 2 Bs. S., which is the equivalent to 200,000 Bs. F.

In 2019 the government issued three extremely high denomination notes. More on that in future posts.

This post and the next will illustrate the 2018 currency. As you would expect it is beautiful. Full-color, with nice portrait on the obverse, fun illustration of animals on the reverse, a metal security band, and a large watermark.

The currency is a delight to view. Each obverse and reverse is a lovely work of art. I’m being serious. The generous doses of sarcasm heaped on socialism will follow later. For the moment let’s enjoy the visually pleasing currency.

The obverse, or front, of the 2018 series:

2 Bs. S., equal to 200,000 Bs. F.

Josefa Camejo

5 Bs. S., equal to 500,000 Bs. F.

José Felix Ribas

Continue reading “Front (obverse) of Venezuelan currency issued in 2018.”

Illustration of Venezuelan hyperinflation from 2012 through 2018. Part 5.

Let’s take a look at what hyperinflation does to the value of currency.

Using the Bolivares Fuertes (Bv.f) currency, we can construct a visualization of hyperinflation.

Previous posts describe the horrid inflation suffered by the people in Venezuela:

Imagine a small basket of a few items that would cost $1. The following illustrations are how many Bolivares fuerte it would take to buy that little basket.

From 2010 and earlier up until August 2012, 10 Bv.f could convert to US $1. That was before the inflation took off.

Value to US$1 in 8/12 and earlier:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 10-bolivares-reverse-1024x453.jpg

What happened in the next six months?

Continue reading “Illustration of Venezuelan hyperinflation from 2012 through 2018. Part 5.”

Another SpaceX launch increases Starlink constellation to over 1,300 satellites as OneWeb builds their constellation.

Starlink Mission (3/14/21) by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Launch by SpaceX put another 60 satellites into orbit, bringing the constellation of Starlink communication satellites to over 1,300. Launch by OneWeb put another 36 of their satellites in orbit for total of 146.

SpaceX and OneWeb are both making progress on developing a constellation of satellites which will provide Internet connectivity across the planet. Discussion of OneWeb’s progress follows description of SpaceX’s launch.

Oh, by the way, after reading this post I am confident you will agree that the future is so bright we ought to wear sunglasses all the time.

SpaceX

Continue reading “Another SpaceX launch increases Starlink constellation to over 1,300 satellites as OneWeb builds their constellation.”

British nuclear forces in 2011.

NE140004002 by Think Defence is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. Royal Navy Vanguard Class submarine HMS Vigilant returning to HMNB Clyde after her extended deployment.

The United Kingdom relies exclusively on submarine launched ballistic missiles for their nuclear deterrent. They have no land-based missiles (ICBMs) or bomber delivered nuclear weapons.

In 2011 the speculation was they had 225 nuclear warheads. Of these, 160 were operationally available with 65 spares to allow for routine maintenance and processing.

Continue reading “British nuclear forces in 2011.”

England to increase its nuclear weapons stockpile.

ATLANTIC OCEAN (May 9, 2019) An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Rhode Island (SSBN 740) off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, May 9, 2019. The successful launch certified the readiness of the SSBN crew and the operation performance of the submarine’s strategic weapons
system following completion of its engineered refueling overhaul before
returning to operational availability. (U.S. Navy photo by John Kowalski/Released)

In a significant policy shift, England is planning to expand its nuclear weapon stockpile. The current guess from outsiders is they have 190 nuclear weapons. The previously announced goal was to draw down the inventory to 180 or less by the mid-2020s.

Instead they will build up to a stockpile of not more than 260.

Continue reading “England to increase its nuclear weapons stockpile.”

Behold the creativity of cheaters.

Need to fabricate an excuse to bail on your meeting? There’s an app for that. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

I am continually amazed at the creativity of cheaters. A few examples in the news recently:

  • Restaurant offering receipts with menu items relabeled as office supplies
  • Generate disruptions to get out of a zoom meeting
  • Fake Covid test results

I mentioned these for the laughter value and more importantly for the educational value.

The stories are amusing. If you work in the finance area or are leading an organization, having an awareness of these schemes might help you recognize one if presented to you.

Your entertainment and anti-fraud training for the day:

Continue reading “Behold the creativity of cheaters.”

Annual production of crude oil in North Dakota for 2020.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Value of the crude oil produced in North Dakota dropped in 2020 due to the drop in demand caused by the pandemic. This produced a double hit: drop in volume and drop in crude oil prices.

Values calculated by multiplying the production volume by the average price of North Dakota light sweet in the state as mentioned in each months Director’s Report.

Value of production in the last four years has been:

  • $16.2B – 2017
  • $24.1B – 2018
  • $24.1B – 2019
  • $13.0B – 2020

In graph form, this looks like a roller coaster ride:

Continue reading “Annual production of crude oil in North Dakota for 2020.”

Back (reverse) of Venezuelan currency, 2007 – 2017

Reverse of 100,000 Bolivares paper currency. In 8/12 this would have been worth $10,000. In 9/15, only $125. By 12/17, it was worth $0.90. In 12/18, seven of these would have been worth a US penny.

Before we use Venezuelan Bolivares currency to show the devastation of hyperinflation, let’s finish looking at the currency.

Previous post showed the front (obverse) of 2 through 100,000 Bolivares paper money.

Now let’s look at the back (reverse).

The reverse side shows various wildlife.

Look in the are that seems to be blank and you can see a hint of the watermark. Holding the bill up to light reveals a watermark of the face engraved on the obverse.

2 – dated 12/27/12 – Toninas

5 – dated 5/24/07, Cachicama gigante, giant cachicamo

Continue reading “Back (reverse) of Venezuelan currency, 2007 – 2017”

Front (obverse) of Venezuelan currency, 2007 – 2017

Reverse of 100,000 Bolivares paper currency. This is now worthless. In 12/20, one US dollar could get you 1.2 MILLION of these.

To illustrate the devastation from hyperinflation, we will now use Venezuelan Bolivares currency to see what that destruction looks like in terms of paper money.

To start, we will look at the currency itself.

As usual for currency outside the U.S., the paper money of Venezuela are esthetically beautiful. All the bills are colorful with lovely illustrations. All the ones we will now see have a nice sized watermark at the otherwise empty space. The watermarks are same face at the bottom of the obverse (front).

Portraits on the obverse of the currency are patriotic reminders of the struggle for Venezuelan independence.

To start our pictorial excursion, here are the obverses of the 2 Bolivar through 100,000 Bolivar currency:

2 – dated 12/27/12, featuring Francisco de Miranda, his efforts for independence in South America failed; he served as forerunner of Simon Bolivar.

5 – dated 5/24/07, featuring Negro Primero

Continue reading “Front (obverse) of Venezuelan currency, 2007 – 2017”