Friday, December 31, 2010

The Flying Ambulance

This will play a critical role in organizing and moving the story.

The Chasseurs "hunt" for wounded soldiers and help the old French surgeon find them and care for them. Often, a chasseur dog will guide the litter crews from the battlefield to the flying ambulance.

Some background:

Emergency medicine has deep military roots. In 1792, the young French surgeon Dominique-Jean Larrey observed that most injured soldiers died for want of immediate attention. Inspired by horse-drawn "flying artillery" he developed a "flying ambulance." This ambulance volante combined with Larrey’s development of the concept of triage became integral to Napoleon’s army.
At full strength, the ambulance corps included 340 men, in 3 divisions, each with 12 light and four heavy carriages. A first class surgeon-major commanded a contingent that included apothecaries, a farrier, a saddler, a bootmaker, "a bearer of surgical instruments with a trumpet" and "a lad with a drum carrying surgical dressings." Few changes were made to his ambulance design until the motorized era.
During the 1799 battle for Aboukir in Egypt, Larrey reported that "none were left more than a quarter of an hour without being dressed." Larrey was also a gifted physician who performed the first successful leg amputation at the hip. This superb care helped troop morale, and even moved the enemy: at Waterloo the Duke of Wellington adjusted his line of fire to let the ambulances work.
SOURCE: "The Revolutionary Flying Ambulance of Napoleon's Surgeon," by CPT Jose M. Ortiz, U.S. Army Medical Department Journal, October-December 1998

Friday, December 24, 2010

Still Shorter Than A Ballerina

The man is probably wearing lifts in his shoes, and he's still way shorter than his wife, the lovely Katie Holmes, and those ballerinas. I wonder if they had Cruise stand on a wooden stage box.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Technical Writing Example

Electric Can Opener Mechanism Description
This is a basic example of technical writing. I did not deviate much from the very standard format that a lot of technical writing requires. I am putting it here more for the cutaway view of the can opener (which has a great retro feel to it) as anything.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winona Ryder

See if this isn't one of the best articles you've read in a while.
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Congreve Rockets

Crude weapons, yes, but they must have been terrifying, especially the lucky shots.

It's a Kardashian Christmas Hoedown

Some people take a snapshot of their dog with reindeer antlers. Still others think of their family Christmas Card as a way of celebrating the season. Christmas is about festive colors and the greetings that go with the season. These people are overdressed, except for that one young lady in the dead center of the photo who has frilly green shoulder pads.

They're a handsome family, but they probably don't have much fun.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Not quite a hundred years later, and the shell holes are still visible. Amazing.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Loft in Romania

I ran out of time on Friday.

I wanted to do a full-blown post about this loft in Romania, and talk about the design aspects, but I never got around to it.

The photo is by Cosmin Dragomir, and the rest of the post is here...