Cool Pictures 14: no , it wasn't me who painted Mona Lisa

Crab Nebula:


This has long been one of my favorite nebulae. :)


Surface of Venus:


That's Venera in the foreground. It lasted less than an hour on the surface.

Let's just say that Venus isn't one of the places I want to go, though I have a great view of it from my apartment on non-cloudy mornings.
"Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to work I go..."


Or wherever this adorable Gentoo penguin is going on that well-worn path!
Scarabs are dung beetles:

Highway somewhere in Iceland:


Someone has been posting chapters of a BBC Merlin story that takes place in the modern era. The characters are all trail guides at a tourist place in Iceland, something that the author herself has done. She's included photos of the locations where various parts of the story are set.

The B-21 Raider took its first test flight on Friday, moving the futuristic warplane closer to becoming the nation’s next nuclear weapons stealth bomber.

The Raider flew in Palm-dale, Calif., where it has been under testing and development by Northrop Grumman.

The Air Force is planning to build 100 of the warplanes, which have a flying wing shape much like their predecessor the B-2 Spirit but will incorporate advanced materials, propulsion and stealth technology to make them more survivable in a future conflict. The plane is planned to be produced in variants with and without pilots.

“The B-21 Raider is in flight testing,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said.

The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber air-craft in more than 30 years, and almost every aspect of the program is classified. Both Northrop Grumman and the Air Force have tried to protect the program’s details to prevent China from gaining access to the weapon’s technology and building a similar version, as it has with other U.S. advanced weapons systems like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Science fiction author Ray Bradbury and feline friend:


Someone posted this photo in the Heinlein Society group on FB.
Minnie Riperton and Maya Rudolph (and Marc Rudolph), c. 1973-74. When I was a little kid, that whistle note that Ripperton hit in "Lovin' You" (1974) freaked me out. :lol:

The same can be said of a blank piece of paper.

americans (who post on defence forums , foremost the blog that dispenses Pentagon's lies) are idiots . Would be a leaner comment on #168 up above but one can not help it .


this is a model , a "what-if" ...

Spoiler :

where the model is not real and depicts an imaginary situation . Modelling planes and whatnot have long prided itself on accuracy in mimicking the real thing so this approach has long been controversial . This one shows an Eurofighter in Turkish service . Completed in December 2006 . Downloaded this very picture to copy past the windscreen and raised canopy area to my finest ever conjectural engineering thing , the X-Wing back in 2006 or 7 or 8 or whatever . This was a period of time that ı got the distinct impression that Airforce planes were specifically flying over me , like to scare or whatever . You know , the old guys and Americans bombing individuals in Iraq and bragging all around . But anyhow ...

those who follow the news will understand this is about the press conference in Germany . With the strangely odd thing about New Turkey desire to buy some old Typhoons . Which the British have long been trying to offload but they couldn't get some idiot to pay for their transfer to mighty stronk hands of an individual currently referenced as Z . Germany must look like irritated by New Turkey and there is absolutely no way for them to have agreed to such a sale , Typhoon being a co-production scheme between the UK , Germany , Italy and Spain . Somebody must "protect" the Kurds and let them assimilate the Alevis as the West can not find its way forward with the Gordion Knot entanglements that arise from the complications of the lusted after Sunni Arap assimilation of the rest of the country . In the most improbable making of such a deal , Rolls Royce would of course would have made it . With the Qatari Fighter Jet built in Ankara becoming an one-off , the next copies of F-24 made smaller to justify British engines in them .

when that didn't happen though ı have also read the thing that New Turkey wants to order like 300 Airbuses , the PM went into high gear and "slapped" the Germans in their home turf . That they had the Holocaust and as such had to kiss the nether parts of Israel . Make no mistake , the attempted Typhoon purchase looks like the average Arab Diplomatic thing , buying weapons that will be of no use with the exception of placating Western Goverments and bribes all around . Despite the readiness of New Turkey to do it all the way . The West rejecting New Turkey will get a proper lesson in two weeks or months . With the maiden flight of the F-24 which like totally was not in the 1990s . You will need a ton of classifications to hear where F-404s enter this at all . That WILL teach the West . For the local elections in March next year .

strangely enough this is why the release in #168 does not cover enough stuff . Like the number and make of the engines that power it . Politically it must look like it is already a mature design . Meaning it should have PW engines derived from the F-35 ones , also leading the way for NGAD choice and the end of GE as a military supplier . By making it doubtful Pentagon is trying to save some money with commercial competition angle methods . The Engine Wars of 1980s being a proud boast of the Reagan military build up . As it is a company tradition of PW to gouge the US Defence budget as a monopoly . Which will of course delay the F-24 even more with it becoming the Qatari fighter plane it was desired for Sunni brothers be bombing us Turks skyhigh in our own country . Did ı say Americans were idiots ? In the blog that dispenses Pentagon's lies , they have all the required Turkey the bird jokes , Constaninoples demands , offers to sell both the Typhoon and Gripen if Sweden is allowed into NATO , calls for our eviction from NATO , Ukraine replacing us in NATO ... And the best one ı will ACTUALLY take up . That we should buy the last 55 Phantoms in Davis Monthan base in desert storage . Though be careful about claims that 40 Typhoons were secretly sold . Didn't buy them , paying nothing for them , wishing a travel to hell for them . Clear enough ?

and uh , oh , ah . The prototype is named Cerberus . Some Greek thing that prevents the Dead returning . Like long thought that we were threatened with Zombies , is Washington changing its ideas ?

americans (who post on defence forums , foremost the blog that dispenses Pentagon's lies) are idiots . Would be a leaner comment on #168 up above but one can not help it .

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this is a model , a "what-if" ...
r16, this is a picture thread not an airplane thread. Post #168 is first and foremost a picture that I find interesting for its image of a new airplane. The accompanying text just explains what it is.
clearly there is no assumption on my part that it was here for me to see . Specialist press already claims it is a PW engine but not the F-35 one . It is simply that things must be said . Just like ı will avoid commenting on the Efzun . Japanese anime is a blight on human soul , with its even more accursed forms leading kids into wrong assumptions about the female form .
A situation about to be faced by humans everywhere who both celebrate Christmas and are owned by at least one cat:


Cassandra and Gussy were the worst. Cassandra (Siamese; she was a kitten at the time) knocked the tree over. I found it on the floor when I got up the next morning. Fast-forward many years later and Gussy kept trying to eat the ornaments. I finally just drew a picture of a tree and taped it to the filing cabinet. No matter what I did, he had a serious intention to kill whatever ornaments I used.

Maddy hasn't done anything terribly destructive to the Christmas stuff, mainly because I don't put a tree up that often. When I do, I never use any of the breakable ornaments (I have several glass penguin Christmas ornaments).

Which brings me to my second offering:


Color scheme doesn't matter. I am easily distracted by penguins. Whoever designed this knows me too well.

ı randomly trawl in Tumblr these days with Artstation having issues when ı try to move around the pages on my tablet . Couldn't find this and a companion that ı had downloaded previously . Googled it and this turns out to be 9 years old Reddit post .
Pinterest can lead in some weird directions.

I've got a chapter or two of my story that involves chess, so I went on a Pinterest hunt for medieval-style chess sets. Somehow I got sidetracked into Christmas stuff, and ended up with this. Depending on your point of view, it's either the coolest Christmas tree ever, or the tackiest Christmas tree ever (I lean toward the latter):
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