Further proof that intelligence, social status, economic progress and social adaptability are inherent and unchangeable genetic attributes has come with the a new study that has found no appreciable difference in achievement levels between first and third generation Mexican “immigrants” in America.
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We have similar problem with Arab and African immigrants.
Search PISA Programme for International Student Assessment, an OECD survey.
All PISA results are tabulated by country; recent PISA cycles have separate provincial or regional results for some countries. Most public attention concentrates on just one outcome: the mean scores of countries and their rankings of countries against one another. In the official reports, however, country-by-country rankings are given not as simple league tables but as cross tables indicating for each pair of countries whether or not mean score differences are statistically significant (unlikely to be due to random fluctuations in student sampling or in item functioning). In favorable cases, a difference of 9 points is sufficient to be considered significant.
PISA never combines mathematics, science and reading domain scores into an overall score. However, commentators have sometimes combined test results from all three domains into an overall country ranking. Such meta-analysis is not endorsed by the OECD, although official summaries sometimes use scores from a testing cycle’s principal domain as a proxy for overall student ability.
|Hong Kong, China||548||2||561||2||555||2||547||3||550||1|
|International Average (OECD)||490||—||494||—||495||—||494||—||499||—|
|United Arab Emirates||427||49||434||44||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Trinidad and Tobago||417||55||—||—||414||47||—||—||—||—|
|Hong Kong, China||527||2||545||1||533||3||536||3||510||9||525||6|
|International Average (OECD)||493||—||496||—||493||—||489||—||494||—||493||—|
|United Arab Emirates||434||48||442||42||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Trinidad and Tobago||427||53||—||—||416||47||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Hong Kong, China||523||9||555||1||549||2||542||2|
|International Average (OECD)||493||—||501||—||501||—||498||—|
|United Arab Emirates||437||48||448||42||—||—||—||—|
|Trinidad and Tobago||425||56||—||—||410||48||—||—|
Jared Taylor explains why the annual hate crimes report is virtually useless. The FBI can’t tell the difference between whites and Hispanics, much less compile an accurate count of hate crimes, which now include offenses against Jehovah’s Witnesses and “gender-non-conforming people.”
One of the weirdest tanks used by the Germans in WWII, the Sturmtiger was a massive rocket propelled mortar mounted on a Tiger I hull. Devastating when used properly, only 19 examples of this odd creation were built, all seeing action, particularly on the Western Front during the last months of the war.
|Produced||October 1943 – January 1945|
|No. built||18 (using rebuilt Tiger I chassis)|
|Weight||68 tonnes (75 short tons; 67 long tons)|
|Length||6.28 m (20 ft 7 in)|
|Width||3.57 m (11 ft 9 in)|
|Height||2.85 m (9 ft 4 in)|
machine gunner / radio operator
commander / gunner
|Armor||max. 150 mm (superstructure front, at 47° from vertical)
min. 62 mm
|380 mm RW 61 rocket launcher L/5.4
|100 mm grenade launcher
(using SMi 35 leaping mines)
7.92 mm (0.312 in) MG 34 machine gun
|Engine||V-12, water-cooled Maybach HL230P45 engine
700 PS (690 hp, 515 kW)
|120 km (75 mi)|
|Speed||40 km/h (25 mph)|
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More WWII here
Callenberg Castle (Schloss Callenberg) is a castle on a wooded hill in Beiersdorf, an Ortsteil of Coburg, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the town centre. It was a hunting lodge and summer residence and has long been the principal residence of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. It is currently owned by Andreas, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha who created the Ducal Saxe-Coburg and Gotha House Order. A large and architecturally important family chapel is contained within.
According to the Schloss Callenberg web site “the castle became the property of Duke Johann Casimir of Saxe-Coburg in 1588, after the death of the last von Sternberg. Until 1825 the ducal treasury and the Castle of Callenberg were property of the Dukes of Saxe-Meiningen. It was only in 1826 that the Dukes of Coburg become owners of Callenberg Castle again. Until 1945 the castle was the summer residence of the Dukes of Coburg.”
A hill castle here was first mentioned as Chalwinberch in 1122. It served as the main seat for the Ritter von Callenberg until 1231, when the lord sold it to the Prince-Bishop of Würzburg. The knight made use of the proceeds to participate in a Crusade. In 1317 the House of Henneberg purchased the property and gave it as a fief to the Sternberg family. This family died out in 1592. As a vacant property, it now fell to Duke Johann Casimir. He intended to use it as a summer palace and planned substantial renovations but during his lifetime only the castle chapel was rebuilt.
Major construction work resumed only in 1827 under Ernst I. He had the castle completely redesigned, a landscape garden was created and an exhibit farm added, in which silk worms were bred. From 1842, Callenberg was the summer residence of the heir and future duke Ernst II. Today’s Gothic revival elements date to another renovation after 1857. From 1893, Callenberg served as dowager house for Princess Alexandrine of Baden, the widow of Ernest II. The last ruling duke, Carl Eduard used Callenberg as a summer residence. After his death in 1954 he was buried here.
Post World War II, the castle fell into disrepair. It was first used by American troops and later served as a nursing home, housed a technical college and then a foundation. From the late 1970s, the castle stood empty and changed owners several times.
Schloss Callenberg is once again owned by the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Due to its history and Gothic revival architecture it is a listed monument. Since 1998 it has displayed the ducal art and furniture collection and since 2004 it has also housed the German Rifle Museum (Deutsches Schützenmuseum). The cemetery, Cemetery Waldfriedhof or Waldfriedhof Beiersdorf, still remains, containing the remains of Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, among others.
A Sequoiadendron giganteum (giant sequoia; also known as giant redwood) in the castle garden.
Giant sequoias are the world’s largest single trees. Giant sequoias grow to an average height of 50–85 m (164–279 ft) and 6–8 m (20–26 ft) in diameter. Record trees have been measured to be 94.8 m (311 ft) in height. Claims of 17 m (56 ft) diameter have been touted by taking an author’s writing out of context, but the widest known at chest height is the General Grant tree at 8.8 m (28.9 ft). Between 2014 and 2016, specimens of coast redwood were found to have larger trunk diameters than all known giant sequoias. However, the trunks of redwoods taper more quickly, whereas sequoias have more columnar boles that maintain greater girth higher up in the tree.
German Panzer Tactics in World War 2 relied heavily on combined arms warfare (Kampf der verbundenen Waffen) something that is often ignored with all the focus on the Panzers itself. This video explains the interaction and tactics of Panzers, Infantry, Artillery, Panzerjäger, Flak and Luftwaffe. In a general attack and a detailed view on an attack on an enemy pillbox.
An expanded text version of this analysis can be found here
The junkie mentality:
“Despite being a replacement for many types of submarines, the Borei-class submarines are slightly shorter than the Typhoon class (170 m (560 ft) as opposed to 175 m (574 ft)), and have a smaller crew (107 people as opposed to 160). These changes were in part designed to reduce the cost to build and maintain the submarines. In addition, the United States and Canada provided 80% of funds for scrapping the older Typhoon-class submarines, making it much more economical to build a new submarine.”
“At the end of the Cold War, the Zvezda shipyard was used to decommission Soviet nuclear submarines, with funding and support from the USA and Canada under the Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction initiative.”
“The decommissioning of Russian nuclear-powered vessels is an issue of major concern to the United States and to the Scandinavian countries near Russia. From 1950 to 2003, the Soviet Union and its major successor state, Russia, constructed the largest nuclear-powered navy in the world, more ships than all other navies combined: 248 submarines (91 attack submarines, 62 cruise missile submarines, 91 ballistic missile submarines and four research submarines), four Kirov class battlecruisers, and a missile test ship, as well as nine icebreakers. Many were or are powered by two reactors each, bringing the total to 468 reactors. With the end of the Cold War and with its navy chronically underfunded, Russia has decommissioned many of these vessels, and according to one report dated November 2008, intended to scrap all decommissioned submarines (more than 200) by 2012. However, the safety records of the Soviet and Russian navies and the budgetary constraints on the Russian government are matters of great concern. Ships awaiting decommissioning receive little maintenance, and there are insufficient waste storage facilities, raising worries about possible ecological damage from accidents or improper storage.”
“The major issues are financial. In 1995, a Northern Fleet submarine based near Murmansk nearly suffered a nuclear meltdown when power was cut off due to unpaid electricity bills. Decommissioned vessels are often left in floating storage until funds can be allocated for their dismantling. As of November 2001, “up to 40% of the decommissioned submarines have been in floating storage without much maintenance for more than 10 years”.
The situation has caused concern in other countries, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and the Scandinavian countries, which have contributed funding and assistance. The Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation (AMEC) was a joint Norwegian, Russian, and American government consortium (later joined by the British) set up to deal with military environmental issues, mainly the dismantling of Russia’s nuclear submarine fleet in Europe. After the “somewhat acrimonious dissolution” of AMEC, the Norwegian and British governments shared the £3.9 million cost of dismantling a November class submarine. Under AMEC’s successor, Cooperative Threat Reduction, the British government financed the dismantling of two Oscar I submarines. The Nunn–Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program has been responsible for the deactivation and destruction of many weapons, including 33 nuclear submarines. With the “Star of Hope” program, Japan has funded the dismantling of five Victor III and one Charlie I submarines in the Far East.
Security is also an issue. Russian sailors have been convicted and jailed for two 1993 thefts of highly enriched uranium from fuel rods. In 1994, Russian officials caught two North Korean agents trying to buy submarine dismantlement schedules.”
“A Russian government report acknowledged in March 1993, that “during the period of 1965 to 1988 the Northern Fleet had dumped four reactor compartments with eight reactors (three containing damaged fuel) in the Abrosimov Gulf in 20 to 40 meters of water.” Six other compartments, containing nine reactors in all, had also been dumped into the water in the 1960s and 1970s”
For decades, Russia’s oil giants have been polluting parts of the country’s once thriving landscape, often in secret, spilling oil onto the land and into the Arctic Ocean, poisoning the water and destroying the livelihood of local communities and Indigenous Peoples.
The Leopard 2 is a main battle tank developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s for the West German Army. The tank first entered service in 1979 and succeeded the earlier Leopard 1 as the main battle tank of the German Army. It is armed with a 120 mm (Rheinmetall) smoothbore cannon, and is powered by a V-12 twin-turbo diesel engine. Various versions have served in the armed forces of Germany and 12 other European countries, as well as several non-European nations, including Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Singapore, and Turkey. The Leopard 2 was used in Kosovo with the German Army, and has seen action in Afghanistan with the Danish and Canadian contributions to the International Security Assistance Force, as well as also seeing action in Syria with the Turkish Armed Forces against ISIS and the YPG.
There are two main development batches of the tank: the original models up to Leopard 2A4, which have vertically faced turret armour, and the “improved” batch, namely the Leopard 2A5 and newer versions, which have angled arrow-shaped turret appliqué armour together with other improvements. All models feature digital fire control systems with laser rangefinders, a fully stabilised main gun and coaxial machine gun, and advanced night vision and sighting equipment (first vehicles used a low-light level TV system or LLLTV; thermal imaging was introduced later on). The tank has the ability to engage moving targets while moving over rough terrain.
|Weight||2A6: 62.3 tonnes (68.7 short tons)|
|Length||2A6: 9.97 metres (393 inches) (gun forward)|
|Width||2A6: 3.75 m (148 in)|
|Height||2A6: 3.0 m (120 in)|
The Leopard 2 can drive through water 4 meters (13 ft) deep using a snorkel or 1.2 meters (3 ft 11 in) without any preparation. It can climb vertical obstacles over one metre high.
The German Army has prioritised mobility in its Leopard 2, which might be the fastest main battle tank in the world.
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In July 1973 German Federal Minister of Defence Georg Leber and his US counterpart James R. Schlesinger agreed upon a higher degree of standardization in main battle tanks being favourable to NATO. By integrating components already fully developed by German companies for the Leopard 2, the costs of the XM1 Abrams, U.S. prototype tank developed after the MBT-70, should be reduced. A German commission was sent to the US to evaluate the harmonisation of components between the XM1 and Leopard 2. However, by American law it was not possible for a public bidder to interfere in a procurement tender after a contract with intention of profits and deadline was awarded to companies of the private industry.
As a result, the modification of the Leopard 2 prototypes in order to meet the US Army requirements was investigated. Following a number of further talks, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed on 11 December 1974 between the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States of America, which declared that a modified version of the Leopard 2 should be trialled by the USA against their XM1 prototypes, after the Americans had bought and investigated prototype PT07 in 1973. The MOU obligated the Federal Republic of Germany to send a complete prototype, a hull, a vehicle for ballistic tests and a number of special ballistic parts to the USA, where they would be put through US testing procedures for no additional costs.
The Leopard 2AV (austere version) was based on the experiences of the previous Leopard 2 development. It was created in order to meet the US requirements and the latest protection requirements of the German MoD. The turret T14 mod was used as base for the Leopard 2AV’s turret, but meeting the required level of protection for the hull required several attempts until the final ballistic trials on 23 to 26 June 1976. Following the US’ preference of laser rangefinders, the turret of prototype PT19 was fitted with a laser rangefinder developed together with the American company Hughes. In comparison with the earlier Leopard 2 prototypes, the fire control system was simplified by replacing the EMES-12 optical rangefinder and removing the crosswind sensor, the air-pressure and temperature sensors, the powder temperature sensor, the PERI R12 commander sight with IR searchlight, the short-range grenade launcher for use against infantry, the retractable search-light, the spotlight, the retractable passive night vision sight, the APU and the mechanical loading assistant.
Due to the design and production of the Leopard 2AV taking more time than expected, the shipment to the US and the US evaluation was delayed. It was not possible to test the Leopard 2AV before 1 September 1976. Despite the German wish that the Leopard 2AV and the XM1 prototypes would be evaluated at the same time, the US Army decided not to wait for the Leopard 2AV and tested the XM1 prototypes from Chrysler and General Motors beforehand.
Two new prototype hulls and three turrets were shipped to the US: PT20 mounting a 105 mm rifled L7 gun and a Hughes fire control system, PT19 with the same fire control system but able to swap out the gun for the 120 mm Rheinmetall smoothbore gun, and the PT21 fitted with the Krupp Atlas Elektronik EMES-13 fire control system and the 120 mm Rheinmetall gun. The Leopard 2AV fully met the US requirements. A study made by the American FMC Corporation showed, that it was possible to produce the Leopard 2AV under licence in America without exceeding the cost limits set by the Army. But already before the trials were finished, it was decided that instead of the US army possibly adopting the Leopard 2AV, the focus was shifted on the commonization of components between the two tanks. FMC, after having acquired the licences for production of the Leopard 2AV, decided not to submit a technical proposal, as they saw little to no chance in the US Army adopting a vehicle not developed in the USA.
The US Army evaluation showed that on the XM1 a larger portion of the tank’s surface was covered by special armour than on the Leopard 2AV. Differences in armour protection were attributed to the different perceptions on the expected threats and the haste in which the Leopard 2AV was designed to accommodate special armour. On mobility trials the Leopard 2AV performed equal to better than the XM1 prototypes. The AGT-1500 gas turbine proved to consume about 50% more fuel and the Diehl tracks had a higher endurance, while the tracks used on the XM1 prototypes failed to meet the Army’s requirements. The heat signature of the MTU diesel engine was much lower. The fire control system and the sights of the Leopard 2 were considered to be better and the 120 mm gun proved to be superior. The projected production costs for one XM1 tank were $728,000 in 1976, the costs for one Leopard 2AV were $56,000 higher.
After the American evaluation of the Leopard 2AV and the US army’s decision to opt for the XM1 Abrams, both American and German sources blamed the other side. According to American literature it was discovered, that the Leopard 2AV prototype used for mobility trials was underweight.
In Germany the test conditions were criticised for being unrealistic and favouring the XM1. Instead of using actual performance data, the calculated hypothetical acceleration was used. The XM1 was found to have a slightly higher rate of fire despite having internal layouts similar to the Leopard 2AV, because the XM1 prototypes were manned by professional crews, while the Leopard 2AV had to be manned by conscripts in order to prove that the Leopard 2AV was not too complicated. Firing on the move was demonstrated on flat tracks, which nullified the better stabilization systems of the Leopard 2AV.
In October 2007, Denmark also deployed Leopard 2A5 DKs in support of operations in southern Afghanistan. The Danish tank unit, drawn from the first battalion of the Jydske Dragonregiment (Jutland Dragoons Regiment), was equipped with three tanks and one M113 armoured personnel carrier, with an armoured recovery vehicle and another tank kept in reserve. The Danish version of the Leopard 2A5 is fitted with Swedish-made Barracuda camouflage mats, that limit the absorption of solar heat, thus reducing infrared signature and interior temperature. It also has a conventional driver’s seat bolted on the floor of the tank, wherereas in the Canadian 2A6M (as part of the mine-protection package) the driver’s seat has been replaced by a “Dynamic Safety Seat”, which is a parachute-harness like arrangement that the driver wears around his hip; in this way, the driver does not have any contact with the hull except on the pedals and is out of the shockwave area of exploding land mines or IEDs.
In January 2008, Danish tanks halted a flanking manoeuvre by Taliban forces near the Helmand River by providing gunfire in support of Danish and British infantry from elevated positions. On 26 February 2008, a Danish Leopard 2 was hit by an explosive device, damaging one track. No one was injured and the tank returned to camp on its own for repairs. The first fatality suffered by a crew operating a Leopard 2 happened on 25 July 2008. A Danish Leopard 2A5 hit an IED in Helmand Province. The vehicle was able to continue 200 metres (656 ft) before it halted. Three members of the four-man crew were able to escape even though wounded, but the driver was stuck inside. On site treatment by Danish medics could not save him. The vehicle was towed to FOB Attal and then later to FOB Armadillo for investigation and possible redeployment. During the same contact with Taliban forces, a second tank was caught in an explosion but none of the crew were wounded. Beginning on 7 December 2008, Leopard 2 tanks took part in Operation Red Dagger, firing 31 rounds in support of Coalition troops as they recaptured Nad Ali District. A press release from the British Ministry of Defence praised the tank’s fire accuracy and mobility, claiming the Leopard 2 was a decisive factor in the coalition’s success. Danish Leopard 2A5s are, as of 2013, still in Afghanistan, providing security cover for the withdrawal of British and NATO troops.
The South African Parliament’s Constitutional Review Committee this week voted to proceed with a change to that country’s constitution which will remove all potential legal obstacles to the seizure of white property – on the basis that whites “stole” the land – even though well over 80 percent of the disputed land was unoccupied by blacks at the time of white colonization.
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About South Africa