Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Commemorating Iwo Jima and Ira H. Hayes

(Originally posted by me on on February 22nd, 2011; republishing here since Rantlust is no longer active.  Original comments included below; any non-original text is in green.)

One of the most iconic images of World War II is the photograph of five Marines and one Sailor raising the U.S. flag on Mt. Suribachi, on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima, on February 23rd, 1945. One of the Marines was Private First Class Ira H. Hayes, a Pima Native American from Sacaton, AZ, a town about 30 miles southeast of Phoenix on the Gila River Reservation. The photo, taken by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal while the battle for the island still raged, reinvigorated waning public support for the war in the U.S. and brought considerable fame to Ira Hayes and the other two flag-raisers who survived the Battle of Iwo Jima. It also served as the basis for the Marine Corp War Memorial outside Arlington National Cemetery, where Ira Hayes, after being promoted to Corporal but leading a troubled post-war life, was buried.

(photo credit:

Ira Hayes was never comfortable with his fame and invitations to the White House, feeling guilt over surviving the war when so many of his comrades didn’t (only five of his platoon of 45 survived, and three of 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rantlust Resurrected

This week my friend Anup restored all of the posts and comments on rantlust, which had been down for weeks, and where I and several others blog too.

Thanks, Anup!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Diminishing Returns of Ever-Higher Fuel Economy

While it's great that there are more and more cars on the U.S. market that get 40 mpg (5.9 l/100km) or better, does it make sense to spend a fortune developing and/or purchasing cars that get even better mileage? For example, Volkwagen recently announced that their 261 miles-per-US-gallon (310 miles-per-Imperial-gallon) XL1 concept will go into limited production. However, with only 100 units planned, the per-unit price will likely be rather high, meaning that the fuel savings would need to be substantial to offset the purchase price premium.

Being curious about the possible savings, I wrote a