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« The persistence of old and new regrets | Main | Weather report: March 12, 2018. New Jersey is 50 miles away, as the cardinal flies »


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Years ago I worked with a tech who, like many techs of his generation, gotten trained in electronics by the Signal Corps during World War II. He was in charge of backup communications at Yalta. Just in case the primary communications system had problems, his job was to be ready to take over with a backup system. He said he had never seen a place as blasted to bits as Sevastopol. It was rubble. It was hard to even tell that a town was there, not just a rubble dump, and no way at all to tell what the town looked like. Still - hey, he was a tech - the whole thing went without a glitch.

(He also worked for the output that did the electronics for the TIROS weather satellites. One of his jobs was to rotate the sensitive television camera tubes so that they weren't deformed by gravity while waiting to be launched. It was like being a riddler in a champagne winery, gently rotating each image orthoscope just so on a regular schedule. I remembered TIROS from back when I was a kid. It was the first weather satellite, and it showed the first images of a hurricane as seen from space. I suppose it was more impressive back then for never having been done before.)

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