A NYT piece by James Glanz on how the Iraqi army salvages 50-year-old tanks and creaky Soviet military vehicles once used by Saddam Hussein's forces:
The hulking machine – a T-55, named for the approximate year in the last century when the model went into production – could have been a museum piece. Iraqi mechanics are able to keep it running only by scrounging through scrap yards, local markets and the wrecked hulks on old battlefields for parts that Soviet factories once churned out by the millions but that no one makes – and few even remember – anymore.
But this tank is more than a relic: it is the building block of the new Iraqi Army's first and only armored division. Through an American-sponsored program, the division, with more than 200 old Russian tanks and armored personnel carriers, has been rumbling through villages and fields in this area, trying to dampen insurgent violence.
(...) "The problem is not with the tanks," Colonel Habib said. The right leadership, he said, will make the Russian machines run like "the best tank in the world."
That may be an overstatement. The tanks, though still a formidable threat to fighters on foot, are badly outdated. The remarkably cramped gunner's seat inside the T-55 driven by Mr. Kareem, a soldier in the Iraqi Army, is surrounded by a riot of old dials, switches, belts, wires, cables, leather straps and crude optics along with manual controls for moving the turret and the main gun. Shells must be loaded by hand into the breech of the gun.
. Image: Max Becherer/Polaris, for The New York Times.
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
Today a future without schools. Instead of gathering students into a room and teaching them, everybody learns on their own time, on tablets and guided by artificial intelligence. Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon | RedditIn this episode we talk to a computer scientist who developed an artificially […]
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
These days, the vape market is saturated with low-quality products, making it nearly impossible to separate the gems from the duds. The Atmos Rx Dry Herb Vaporizer stands out from crowd for two reasons: its impressive battery life and durable construction. This high-end little gadget is compact enough to fit in your pocket, and packs a powerful punch, […]
If you’re like us, you occasionally get ambitious with your dinner and try to cook multiple sides plus a main dish. These efforts usually end as a cold meal plus a pile of dishes to wash. MasterPan Multi-Sectional Meal Skillet makes it super easy to make multiple dishes at once without the hassle. This heavy gauge bottom pan […]
The Lytro Illum is our all-time best-selling camera and here’s our best deal yet. Apply the code “Lytro10” to save an extra 10% off on this camera’s mind-blowing functionality in this exclusive one day only sale.