Moments in History, Real Life Heroes

Memorial Day


Tomorrow marks Memorial Day in the United States, a date to mark those that lost their lives in defense of not only the freedoms and way of life we enjoy here, but defending the freedom of our allies from conquest and oppression.

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Continue reading Memorial Day

Tech Showdown

M-16 vs. M16


The Grigorovich M-16 was a variant of the Grigorovich M-9 with floats and developed to operate in winter conditions. It became a very important WWI-era plane for Russia, and, ironically, Finland. It’s primary role was as a reconnaissance plane, though it did have a variant called the GASN which was a torpedo-bomber.

The Colt M16 rifle is the military variant of the AR-15 first developed by ArmaLite in 1959. By the late 1960s it was the standard issue infantry rifle for the US armed forces. It is still in use by Navy and Marine forces.

The only logical question, then, is, “How do they compare?”

Continue reading M-16 vs. M16

Military-Grade Awesome

Bangalore Torpedo

A while back, Number_Six sent a tip in (to tips at atomictoasters dot com) on the Bangalore Torpedo. I had heard of these before, but I had never really looked into how they work. If you haven’t a clue what I’m talking about, hit the jump.
Continue reading Bangalore Torpedo

Military-Grade Awesome

The Paris Gun

This gun is called The Paris Gun because it is what Germany used to strike terror in the hearts of Paris’ citizenry during the summer of 1918. It’s a modified naval artillery gun with a 131 foot long barrel that could launch a 264 pound projectile 25 miles into the stratosphere. Hidden in […]

Military-Grade Awesome

Innovations of the Great War: Spähkorb

Necessity has been deemed the mother of invention, and nothing seems to escalate innovation like war. Be it hot or cold, wartime sees a need for bold new ideas, and that need is usually accompanied by an injection of funds that allows many a hair-brained scheme to actually see the light of day. Between AT’s very own and , we have been enlightened to many a kooky WWII and Cold War creation, and I know we can count on more to come.

This post opens an occasional series to explore the original ‘War to End All Wars’, and look at some technological developments arising from that conflict. Let’s kick it off with the Zeppelin manned observation basket!

Continue reading Innovations of the Great War: Spähkorb


The Human Factor

One of the things that us engineers and other left-brained individuals sometimes forget is the human factor. It isn’t just us that forgets it, it turns out.
Continue reading The Human Factor

Military-Grade Awesome, Moments in History

HMS Dreadnought: Gamechanger

Today is quite a day. Rememberance Day in the British Commonwealth States, Armistice Day in most of Europe, Independence Day in Poland, and Veterans Day in the United States. As you probably already know, this day was originally set aside to celebrate the end of World War I and remember the sacrifice of those who died defending freedom in the Great War. That ship above, the HMS Dreadnought fought in exactly zero battles in WWI. However, it’s a big reason why WWI happened in the first place.
Continue reading HMS Dreadnought: Gamechanger


Startup: Where Does He Get Those Toys?

Not exactly a precision instrument.

Techie stumbled across this great find a few days ago, which in and of itself is remarkable. Generally, Techie will spend countless hours on YouTube, searching for videos of kittens waking up, or lengthy monologues from comedians who aren’t really funny, which he will bookmark and force us to watch for two or three hours before we finally get to watch whatever it is we wanted to watch on his enormous big-screen. At first, we thought he actually found these videos entertaining. Then we realized that he did it to test and see how long we would put up with it before we punched him in the coin purse, and tracked the results in an Excel spreadsheet. For science!

So when he presented me with this video, and it turned out to be frickin’ cool, you can imagine my bewilderment. I still don’t completely understand it, but I’ll overlook that little detail, and content myself with the knowledge that it involves zombies blowing up.

Continue reading Startup: Where Does He Get Those Toys?

Moments in History

National Donut Day!!

Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow marks the 73rd passing of that annual American holiday known as National Donut Day!


A tradition since 1938, National Donut Day occurs on the 1st Friday of every June and was conceived as a way to help feed the needy of the Great Depression, and commemorates the efforts of Salvation Army volunteers who handed out fresh donuts and coffee to troops during WWI, and later WWII.

Known as “Lassies”, these wonderful ladies worked in “huts” (often derelict buildings) and provided writing supplies, stamps, baked goods and a clothes-mending service among other perks to the U.S. enlisted men along the front lines. The introduction of that exotic fried cake known as the donut was an idea that was born out of necessity, and changed the shape of a nation (literally) forever. Continue reading National Donut Day!!