Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “cat

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A cat righting itself mid-air after being dropped, chronophotography by Étienne-Jules Marey; ca. 1894

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Studying the effects of weightlessness on a living mammal at 25,000′; ca. 1958

I feel like that is the worst animal to bring on an experimental trip in a jet cockpit. When my friend brings her cat in the car he flips out. I wonder if that pilot got peed on after this...

I feel like that is the worst animal to bring on an experimental trip in a jet cockpit. I wonder if that pilot got peed on after this…

From The Times Magazine, a “Portrait of the Ideal Space Man,” if not the ideal space cat, from February 1958. As experts were contemplating the medical specifics of what weightlessness in space would do to a living, breathing human being, an unlucky kitten was volunteered as a stand-in, floating from the hand of Capt. Druey P. Parks inside an F-94C jet at 25,000 feet. The article, by Donald G. Cooley, characterized the cat’s reaction as “bewilderment.”

(I think “bewilderment” is the understatement of the century. More like vicious, claws-bared, wild-eyed, “HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT, HOLY SHIT I’M GONNA CLAW MY WAY OUT OF THIS HELLHOLE, FLYBOY!” Grade-A homicidal panic.)


Vallecita’s leopards, 1906

I don't like thinking about the abuse which more than likely was involved in that training.

I don’t like thinking about the abuse which more than likely was involved in that training.

Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-100766


Togo the cat was a mascot of the HMS Dreadnought, ca. 1900’s

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The launch of the H.M.S. Dreadnought in 1906 was quite a big deal. The new “all-big gun” design of the battleship was revolutionary for the era, not to mention her steam-turbines – never having been used on a warship of her size before.

As such, she gave her name not only to the class of ship (of which she was the only one, the Bellerophon-class immediatly following her with minor improvements to the design, mainly for torpedo protection), but to the entire style, as all those preceding her were immediately seen as obsolete.

The HMS Dreadnought sported a compliment of ten 12-inch guns – which Togo seems to use as a playground – paired into five turrets, four guns facing aft, two guns to the bow, and two each on either flank, allowing an eight gun broadside to either side.

Visible on top of the turret is one of the 12-pndr guns originally placed atop the casements. This were later abandoned when it was realized not only that the crews were left terribly exposed when manning them, but also that the vibrations of the main guns damaged their smaller compliments.

Photo part of the collection of the Imperial War Museum.


Cat drinking from a bottle and looking through a telescope, 1911.

(Source)