Mrs. Tang’s Beautiful Art

At the Rhode Island Avenue NE Fall Fest last Saturday, Oct 4, 2014, Xiufang Tang (right) was selling her art, and I was a happy customer. Her daughter Karen deGategno (left) helps her mom organizing the fair stand. Photo: Sabine Muscat

Yesterday, at the Rhode Island Avenue Fall Fest, I saw Xiufang Tang’s art for the first time – and immediately was fascinated by the delicacy and beauty of her work. Mrs. Tang, as everyone calls her, used to be an art teacher. After retiring, she started painting. She has been living in DC for a couple of years, taking care of her granddaughter, but still found time to paint. The paper and materials are from China, but most of her motifs are very Washingtonian: cherry blossoms, for example. Continue reading

Cold War Dinosaurs

Minuteman Missile Silo South Dakota

Minuteman III Missile Launch Facility/Missile Silo Delta 09

The Cold War is long over – but in the Midwest of the US there are still relicts, like this Minuteman Missile Site in South Dakota, 75 miles east of Rapid City on Interstate-90 (I-90). The missile shown below is a dummy, there are no longer any active sites in South Dakota.  The START Treaty signed in September 1991, directly led to the deactivation of 150 Minuteman Missiles of the 44th Missile Wing in western South Dakota.

Minuteman Missile Dummy

But there are still 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles on 24/7 alert in F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana and Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. And they are tested regularly, for example in December 2013 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

More than 500 airmen work in shifts underground – and the ICBM-guards get bored, as Walter Pincus from the Washington Post writes. That’s understandable, because besides waiting, there is not much to do. So it is surprising, that 34 ICBM launch officers cheated on their monthly test rather than using the time to study.

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