First... from the usual source:
Doom and gloom in two different flavors, both of which might could be fatal.
And then there are these, from the (other) usual source:
J-20 Back in the Air: The Chinese J-20 stealth fighter has reportedly returned to flight testing, completing a publicly witnessed flight in recent days that was much longer than its first reported flight back in January. Britain's Daily Mail reported Tuesday that a J-20 aircraft took to the skies this past weekend from an airfield in Chengdu in southcentral China in a flight meant to coincide with the 60th anniversary of China's aviation industry. It cited a report in a Chinese Communist Party-owned tabloid that included alleged new J-20 photos. US officials have said they were not surprised when China unveiled the J-20 late last year. However, they have acknowledged that the J-20's emergence has shown that China may be making progress in the design of advanced combat aircraft more quickly than the United States had anticipated. (See also Reuters report and Navy Intel Assesses the J-20 from the Daily Report archives.)
Keeping Orbital Operations Safe: The Air Force's Phased Array Warning System radars, known as Pave PAWS, earlier this month played an important role in preventing the evacuation of the International Space Station. Data from their monitoring of a roughly six-inch chunk of debris on a near-collision course with the station allowed the station's three-member crew to remain on board and not have to leave out of safety concerns using Russia's Soyuz capsule. With the help of Pave PAWS tracking data, the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., determined that the debris piece would harmlessly pass by ISS on April 5, much to the crew's relief. The Pave PAWS radars are located at Beale AFB, Calif., and Cape Cod AFS, Mass. The piece of debris causing this scare resulted from China's irresponsible shootdown of a Chinese weather satellite in January 2007. (Cape Cod report via Diana Barth)
Ah, yes. The Chinese. They hold trillions of our debt and STILL have enough money to develop fifth-generation fighters and anti-satellite weapons. As for us? Barack The Magnificent wants to cut $400 billion out of the DoD budget and build choo-choo trains. Liberals love trains, yanno. But fighters? Not so much.
Speaking of two-fers... there were two excellent hockey games on the toob last night, assuming "good" means lotsa goals. Chicago (finally) found its game and took it to the Canucks last evening, salvaging some pride on home ice while savaging Vancouver in a 7-2 goal-fest. The game got chippy in the third period, with five Canucks cooling their heels in the penalty box at one point. The Zebras handed out six ten-minute misconducts in the third period and there were a total of 96 penalty minutes during the game. One is tempted to deploy the "too little, too late" cliché, but "too little" doesn't work given the number of goals Chicago scored. Too late fits, though... as 162 teams have tried to dig out of an 0-3 hole in the NHL's storied past, and only three have succeeded.
I have to admit I fell asleep during the second intermission of the Hawks-Canucks game, as the outcome was decided by then. But I woke up in time to catch the very end of that game and stayed awake for El-Eh - San Jose. The Kings jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period and increased their lead to 4-0 at the beginning of the second; it looked like it was all over but for sobbing Sharks. Heh. Wrong! The Sharks began to systematically tear down the Kings' castle in a determined goal-by-goal effort, chipping away in a onesie-twosie manner to tie it up in the very last seconds of the second period. The game went into OT, given the totally defensive, goal-free nature of the third. The Sharks won it by a 6-5 score three and a half minutes into the OT, capping off an incredible comeback. You don't often see a team fight its way back from a 4-0 deficit to win... and you don't often see 20 goals scored in only two games, come to think on it. But you saw that sorta thang last night. And it was good!
Speaking of good... the Beloved Wings can end the Feral Dogs' season over in Phoenix tonight, assuming said Feral Dogs aren't too inspired by Chicago's last-gasp heroics in their potential elimination Game Four. Anything can happen, of course, but it's pretty safe to say the Dogs ain't the Hawks. We shall see what we see at 2230 hrs (ET) this evening.
Let's Go Red Wings!