Four Knots to Nowhere contains the recollections and current experiences of the life of an active duty Missile Technician, currently stationed on Shore Duty at the Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Cape Canaveral, FL.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Out-of-this-world sex could jeopardise missions

It would appear that this article could have alot of bearing on the question of women in submarines. I'll let you all read the article, but here's some highlights:

"With the prospect of a very long-term mission, it's hard to ignore the question of sexuality," says Lawrence Palinkas, a medical anthropologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles... long-term space missions may be similar to extended periods in the isolated and confined environments of Antarctic research stations. He says crews in those stations often pair up in "bachelor marriages" that last the length of their stay – or less. "If there are instances of sexual conflict or infidelity, that may lead to a breakdown in crew functioning."

Palinkas says such problems may be minimised by training astronauts ahead of time in how to deal with stressful situations or by having them speak with psychologists on the ground in group therapy sessions. "You'd deal with it basically the same way you would with any potential crew tension and conflict," he says.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Phantom Midshipmen

A dozen midshipmen earned the grudging respect of the Air Force Academy by repainting a jet fighter on the Colorado academy's grounds blue and gold, and labeling it with "Navy" and "Blue Angels."

The mids, who are studying there this semester as part of an exchange program, pulled off the prank sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, in advance of Saturday's Navy-Air Force football game in Annapolis.

"This jet is in the center of cadet life," Air Force Academy spokesman John Van Winkle said yesterday. "You cannot be a cadet at the academy and not notice that plane."

The F-4D Phantom fighter, which downed six enemy MiGs in the Vietnam War, is in the middle of the Air Force Academy's assembly area, surrounded by dormitories, a classroom building and the campus chapel. Mr. Van Winkle said. It is normally painted tan and green.

"They have created a little bit of a legacy," Mr. Van Winkle said of the visiting midshipmen.

A Naval Academy spokesman was laughing when he discussed the incident.

"Good on 'em," Cmdr. Rod Gibbons said yesterday of the pranksters.

Mr. Van Winkle offered the Naval Academy some friendly advice:

"Be sure to ask the Navy people about the brass goat statute - just to see if anything happened there," he said of the statute that stands inside Gate 1.

Naval Academy spokesman Judy Campbell said this morning that 20 Air Force cadets are studying in Annapolis this semester, but they have not retaliated. Yet.

"Not at this point, we haven't had any pranks played," Ms. Campbell said. "But it's still not Saturday."

The hoaxes, sometimes called "spirit missions," are all in good fun. The only rules are that the pranks do no permanent damage, and must be cleaned up the following day. In this case, the mids wisely used coloring that washed off the Air Force plane.

Mids in past years have painted things such as "Go Navy!" on a wall at the Air Force Academy, and West Point cadets painted a Ranger insignia on a roof another year but nobody has ever performed a stunt of this magnitude, Mr. Van Winkle said.

Source: The Capital Online


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