Wikipedia: Gerald Bull

Gerald Vincent Bull (1928 – 1990) was a Canadian engineer who developed long-range artillery.

He moved from project to project in his quest to economically launch a satellite using a huge artillery piece, to which end he designed the Project Babylon “supergun” for the Iraqi government. Bull was assassinated outside his apartment in Brussels, Belgium in March 1990.

Bull secured work with The People’s Republic of China, and then Iraq. He designed two artillery pieces for the Iraqis with a maximum range of 56 km. The guns were built and sold through Austria.

Bull then convinced the Iraqis that they would never be a real power without the capability for space launches. He offered to build a cannon capable of such launches, basically an even larger version of the original HARP design. Saddam Hussein was interested, and work started on “Project Babylon”.

Bull concurrently worked on the Scud project. Over a period of a few months following, his apartment suffered several non-robbery break-ins, apparently as a threat or a warning, but he continued to work on the project. In March 1990 he was assassinated, allegedly by Iranian or Israeli intelligence services.

“Sailing Stones” of Death Valley Seen in Action for the First Time

“Science sometimes has an element of luck,” Richard Norris said. “We expected to wait five or ten years without anything moving, but only two years into the project, we just happened to be there at the right time to see it happen in person.”

Their observations show that moving the rocks requires a rare combination of events. First, the playa fills with water, which must be deep enough to form floating ice during cold winter nights but shallow enough to expose the rocks.

As nighttime temperatures plummet, the pond freezes to form thin sheets of “windowpane” ice, which must be thin enough to move freely but thick enough to maintain strength. On sunny days, the ice begins to melt and break up into large floating panels, which light winds drive across the playa, pushing rocks in front of them and leaving trails in the soft mud below the surface.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography: “Sailing Stones” of Death Valley Seen in Action for the First Time

Wikipedia: Hollywood Freeway chickens

The Hollywood Freeway chickens are a colony of feral chickens that live under the Vineland Avenue off-ramp of the Hollywood Freeway (U.S. Route 101) in Los Angeles, California.

It is not definitively known how they came to be there, although news stories generally ascribe them to an overturned poultry truck.

Chickens underneath the Vineland off-ramp became local celebrities upon their arrival sometime around 1970. By 1976, the flock included about 50 of the chickens, described as Rhode Island Reds. The first colony at the Vineland ramp has spread and there is now a second colony at the Burbank ramp, two miles away.