Spend August Washington DC or Somewhere Else?

Would you like to spend August in the soaring temperatures of Washington DC and its environs? It gets miserably hot and humid in DC during the summer and especially in August. I often see overweight tourists sitting in the sun like so many dumplings and turning pink. Not a pretty sight. So, take my word for it, you don’t want to be here.

Desperately hot tourists in Washington, DC in August find in the wading pool at the World War Two memorial on the mall in DC.

This is against the rules but World War Two was a war to preserve individual liberty and I don’t think the tourists are being disrespectful although the Park Service thinks they are. (You can wade in the reflecting pools between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War Two Memorial).

I’ve interviewed dozens of World War Two veterans and I don’t think they would see this as disrespectful—especially those who served in the North African campaign. They would see it for what it is: the living enjoying the liberty these men died to preserve as well as connecting the living to the dead in the cycle of life.

(Photo by BeyondDC on Flickr)

 

Or, would you rather spend August at Lake Garda in Northern Italy shown below?

 

This magnificent hotel is on Lake Garda in Riva del Garda in Northern Italy. Cool and salubrious breezes would stimulate the creativity of any writer. Someone make reservations for me here, please.

(photos courtesy getawaytravelservice)

I saw these photos on the Weather Channel and decided it would be far preferable to be in one of these places than stuck in DC like I am.

 

california coast

Along California’s central coast, the Santa Lucia Mountains rise in steep cliffs along the ocean, creating a closer-to-home version of a sun-soaked Grecian paradise. McWay Fall is a gorgeous hideaway. (Flickr/Don Graham) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Alaska's Denali National Park

If trying to climb glorious, ice-capped peaks is your thing, check out Alaska’s Denali National Park. Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America, is the park’s centerpiece. At less than 10,000 feet shorter than Everest, it might be a good (closer) place to start. (Flickr/NPS/Jacob W. Frank) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Kauai

No need to try to compare Hawaii’s most gorgeous and least-developed island, Kauai, with anywhere else in the world. You may recognize the lush, mountainous landscape as a backdrop for Jurassic Park. America’s own paradise may require hopping on a plane to get there, but the stunning scenery is well worth the ticket price. (Flickr/Paul Bica) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Because one of the many ways I make a living is as a historian, I will add that Washington DC is so hot that in the era before air-conditioning, British diplomats received hardship pay as they would have in other very hot countries. People have heard of this and have asked me from time to time if this is true. Yes, it is.

 

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island

Playa Flamenco in Culebra Island in Puerto Rico. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr/Diueine) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

Mount Rainier

 Mount Rainier in Washington state. The ice-capped berg west of Seattle may look like a gentle giant, but it is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. (Photo: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock) Courtesy of the Weather Channel.

 

author Charles McCain pointing out how high the drifts are two blocks away. Crystal Drive, Arlington, VA.  winter 2016.

 

Charles McCain is a financial writer, speaker, independent journalist, voice-over narrator, and published novelist. As an 8th generation South Carolinian he often writes about his native region and his Southern Gothic youth.

His first novel, An Honorable German, was published in 2009 by Grand Central Publishing/Little Brown, Ltd./Hachette Book Group. An Honorable German is a World War Two naval epic uniquely told from the point of view of a heroic yet deeply conflicted German naval officer and U-Boat commander in the only such novel ever written. (No one else was foolish enough to spend years doing the research).

You can buy various editions of the book here:

https://tinyurl.com/AHGbyMcCainAmazon

 

4/5ths German Aircraft Battle of Britain destroyed by Hawker Hurricanes

dogfight (1)

Hawker Hurricanes fly in formation.

According to the history section of the Royal Air Force it’s estimated that Hurricane pilots were credited with four-fifths of all enemy aircraft destroyed in the Battle of Britain.

 

The Hawker Hurricane was the first operational R.A.F. aircraft capable of a top speed in excess of 300 mph. Delivery of the aircraft to front-line squadrons of Fighter Command only began in the fall of 1938. By the outbreak of war in September of 1939, Hawker Aircraft Ltd had built 497 Hurricanes from the intial RAF order of 3,500.

 

From RAF History site:

“A total of 1,715 Hurricanes flew with Fighter Command during the period of the Battle, far in excess of all other British fighters combined. Having entered service a year before the Spitfire, the Hurricane was “half-a-generation” older, and was markedly inferior in terms of speed and climb. However, the Hurricane was a robust, maneuverable aircraft capable of sustaining fearsome combat damage before write-off; and unlike the Spitfire, it was a wholly operational, go-anywhere-do-anything fighter by July 1940. It is estimated that its pilots were credited with four-fifths of all enemy aircraft destroyed in the period July-October 1940.”

 

hugh_dowding

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding (right) was the head of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain, and the main architect of its success along with his deputy, Air vice-marshal Sir Keith Park. 

Park, a New Zealander, commanded 11 Group RAF Fighter Command

air vice marshal eqivalet to 2 star major general USA, UK,

 

Death of a Battleship

Lest We Forget

25 November 1941

HMS Barham, torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 55 officers and 806 ratings.

This vid clip is one minute and eleven seconds long. In these 71 seconds, the Royal Navy battleship, HMS Barham, rolled over on her beam ends, explodes, and then sinks. At the end of the vid clip, the ship is gone, disappeared beneath the sea.

In the time it takes to watch it, fifty-five officers and eight hundred six ratings died–men who were fighting against “a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime,” as the Nazis were so aptly described in their evil by Prime Minister Winston Churchill on 13 May 1940 in his first speech to Parliament as Prime Minister.

Incredibly, the sinking and explosion was caught on film by a news reel cameraman from Gaumont News. The cameraman who caught the sinking and explosion, John Turner, was standing on the deck of the nearby Royal Navy battleship, HMS Valiant, which was on station close to Barham.

You can read accounts by the crew members who survived here:

http://www.hmsbarham.com/ship/accounts.php

HMS Barham in the Royal Navy fleet anchorage of Scapa Flow circa 1917. (US Navy photograph)

US Navy Destroyers Are Newest Hybrid Vehicle on Market

 

110918-N-BC134-014  PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2011) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) transits the Pacific Ocean. Halsey is conducting a three-week composite training unit exercise in preparation for a deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Grandin/Released)
110918-N-BC134-014
PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 18, 2011) The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey (DDG 97) transits the Pacific Ocean. Halsey is conducting a three-week composite training unit exercise in preparation for a deployment to the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman John Grandin/Released)

 

Hybrid power trains are most commonly associated with fuel efficient passenger cars. It was once a novelty, but you can get hybrid versions of many cars out there, from family sedans to luxury cars, and even sports cars. You can now add U.S. Navy destroyers to that list of hybrid-equipped vehicles.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer is the mainstay of the U.S. Navy’s surface combatants. There are 62 active destroyers of this class, and up to another 42 planned. Each packs more than 90 missiles, as well as other weapons systems. In addition to our super carriers, they represent a key component of the United States projecting its power around the globe. And they are about to get a little greener, with the addition of hybrid electric drives.

Starting in 2016, the Navy will start to convert 34 of the newest boats in the class to hybrid drives. This will be accomplished by integrating an electric motor into the ship’s main reduction gear. It will be able to operate on fully electric power at speeds below 13 knots. Above that, it will continue to run the quartet of General Electric gas turbine engines.

 

https://www.yahoo.com/autos/s/u-navy-converting-guided-missle-destroyers-hybrids-190044721.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma