Program Mgr and cyber / sci-fi geek. Opinions expressed are the thoughts of Jason Stripinis only, and should be read at your own risk.
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Getting Fit Over 40: The 7 Best Workout Routines for Beginners

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Congratulations! You're finally ready to shed some pounds, strengthen your heart and clear your mind.While work-out routines are a dime a dozen, there are several routines that are proven to build strength, maintain bone density and improve balance, coordination, mobility and cardio.While there's been a lot of focus on the benefits of cardio training, strength training has tons of benefits as well. According to the CDC, strength training reduces the signs and symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity and back pain. It even helps preserve brain function as we age.Before starting any of the routines below, make sure to learn and focus on proper form. You should be constantly increasing your repetitions and weight to challenge your muscles to strengthen and grow.

1. 7 Minute Workout Routine

The first workout routine for beginners we're going to preview was published in the American College of Sports Medecine's Health and Fitness Journal.((American College of Sports Medecine's Health and Fitness Journal: High-intensity circuit training using body weight: Maximum results with minimal investment)) The now famous 7 minute workout was found to have phenomenal health benefits for both endurance and weight loss.The 7 minute workout uses high intensity interval training, in a sequence of 12 exercises that last for 30 seconds each, with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise. As you get stronger, you can repeat the cycle 2-3 times.That said, beginners can start doing the routine only once, and you'll still get lots of benefits.The routine itself uses the following exercises:
  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push-up
  4. Abdominal crunches
  5. Step-up onto chair
  6. Body weight squat
  7. Tricep dip on chair
  8. Plank
  9. High knees running in place
  10. Lunge
  11. Push-up and rotate
  12. Side plank
*Repeat 2-3 times.The routine works all of your major muscle groups and will get your heart rate soaring. What we love about the 7 minute workout, is that it's quick and you can do it anywhere - your home, office or hotel room. No weights, mats or special clothing required.You can download a 7 minute workout app developed by the New York Times, or watch and follow through this video created by Lifehack:

2. Beginner Body Weight Routine (NerdFitness)

With one of the most popular workout websites out there, NerdFitness has developed a great body weight exercise routine that doesn't require any equipment or weights and can be done just about anywhere.We like this routine because it's simple and effective. Do each exercise, and move onto the next without a break. After completing the round, rest for 30 seconds and repeat.Do about 5 minutes of stretching to warm yourself up before starting the routine.
  • 20 body weight squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 20 walking lunges
  • 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug)
  • 15 second plank
  • 30 jumping Jacks
*Repeat for 3 roundsDo some stretches after you've finished your workout.

3. Starting Strength Beginner Barbell Routine

Starting Strength is one of the most popular, widely recommended and effective barbell routines out there. Around for almost 30 years, it's simple to follow and only uses a barbell. Nothing else.There are 2 workouts, which you do on alternate days. You only workout 3 days a week, and never 2 days in a row. Here's the routine:Starting Strength Workout 1
  • 3 Sets of 5 Reps – Squat
  • 3 Sets of 5 Reps – Bench Press
  • 1 Set of 5 Reps – Deadlift
Starting Strength Workout 2Weekly Schedule:
  • Day 1: Workout 1
  • Day 2: Workout 2
  • Day 3: Workout 1
As you get stronger, continuously add weight so you max out at 5 repetitions.

4. Recommended Body Weight Routine (Reddit)

Based off of the principles from Overcoming Gravity, this bodyweight workout routine was developed in 2012 and has become something of an online phenomenon.This routine will provide strength, muscle gain and fat loss, all provided your diet is in proper order.There are only 9 exercises, which you do 3 times a week. Each exercise progresses, so that if you can't do one now, there is a simpler form of the exercise you can start with.For example, if you can't do a push-up, you can start to wall pushes, or push-ups from your knees, until you're ready to progress to the more challenging form.You perform the hardest exercise in the progression you can, for 3 sets of 5-8 reps. Once you achieve that benchmark, you move on to the next progression of the exercise in your next workout. Rest 90 seconds between each set.First PairSecond PairThird PairCore Triplet

5. Simplefit Beginner Routine

Simplefit is another popular body weight exercise routine. It's simple, only requires you workout 3 days a week and only involves 3 exercises per day.Day 1:
  • Max rounds in 20 min (as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes)
  • 1 pull-ups
  • 2 push-ups
  • 3 squats
Day 2:
  • 5 rounds for time (see how quickly you can complete each round, resting 3 minutes between rounds)
  • 2 pull-ups
  • 6 push-ups
  • 10 squats
Day 3:
  • For time (one round as quickly as you can)
  • 10 pull-ups
  • 21 push-ups
  • 21 squats
You can increase the number of repetitions for each exercise as you get stronger, if you'd like.

6. Growing Stronger

The Growing Stronger Routine was developed specifically as a strength training routine for older adults at Tufts University and is recommended by the Centre for Disease Control.The exercises are done by lifting a load (body weight or a dumbell) and holding it for a count of two to four and then lowering it for another count of two to four. You then repeat the motion, smoothly and slowly for 10 repetitions.The program is divided into three parts as follows:Part I: Weeks 1 — 2
  1. Squats (onto chair): 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  2. Wall Push-ups: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  3. Toe Stands: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  4. Finger Walking: hold the position for 10 seconds, 3 sets
Part II: Weeks 3 — 6 (add to part I routine)
  1. Biceps Curl: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  2. Step-Up on Stairs (1 or 2 steps at a time): 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  3. Overhead Dumbell Press: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  4. Side Leg Raises; 2 sets of 10 repetitions
Part III: Weeks 7 + (add to part II routine)
  1. Knee Extensions: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  2. Leg Curl: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  3. Lying Pelvic Tilt: 2 sets of 10 repetitions
  4. Floor Back Extensions: 2 sets of 10 repetitions

7. Just Do Something!

No matter how you decide to exercise, anything is better than nothing.Choose activities, sports or exercises you enjoy doing, it will give you a better chance of sticking to it over the long term.That said, if you're looking to lose weight, studies suggest you do 30 minutes a day, along with a healthy diet.((Harvard: Physical activity guidelines: How much exercise do you need?)) That could mean walking at a brisk pace, tennis, biking or the gym. Some studies even suggest that walking 15-20 minutes a day reduces your chance of getting a heart attack or stroke.For strength training, The Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that you do resistance exercise at least 2 days a week.(( The Physical Activity Guidelines)) You can do weights, body weight exercises, or physical activity like heavy gardening (digging, hoeing), calisthenics, mountain biking, skiing, etc...

Botton Line

The bottom line is to choose an activity or routine you like to do and do it at least a couple of times every week. Throw in 15-20 minutes of walking every day and you're golden!As a beginner, you'll want to pace yourself and choose a routine that's not too complex or overwhelming.The exercise routines above are some of the most popular and time tested routines available for beginners, guaranteed to get results and get you in tip top shape. Have fun!
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2135 days ago
Melbourne, FL
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20 Awesome DIY Science Projects to Do With Your Kids

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science projects for kids

Before the advent of the uber-popular show Mythbusters or the push for more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in schools, parents and their kids were doing at-home science experiments. Now, the trend continues to blossom, although many of the experiments have remained somewhat the same…and always awesomely exciting!

If you’re a parent and you want to do something with your kid that isn’t related to cleaning the toilets or forging through homework, check out these 20 great science projects that you can complete in the confines of your humble abode. Most of them use around-the-home items that you probably have on hand, although some will require a little bit of shopping ahead of time. To help you decide which are best for your children’s needs, the 20 have been divided into projects for younger students and projects for older ones.

11 Cool Science Projects for the Younger Set

1. Now You See It, Now You Don’t!

bleach science experiment

Want to visually explain how bleach works? This is as easy as it gets!

What you’ll need for this project:

  • Two clear plastic cups
  • Food coloring (red is great to use)
  • Bleach
  • Water


  1. Fill one plastic cup three-quarters of the way with water
  2. Add several drops of food coloring to the water and mix it up until it is red/pink
  3. Fill the other plastic cup one-quarter of the way with bleach
  4. Slowly add the bleach to the water mixture
  5. Watch as the bleach expands the molecules of dye attached to the water molecules, thereby making the water look clear again

WARNING: Do not under any circumstances drink the bleached water!


2: Buoyancy “Magic”

science experiment

For this project, you’ll need only a ketchup packet and a one- or two-liter plastic bottle filled about three-quarters of the way to the top with water. Pop the ketchup packet into the bottle, and then squeeze the bottle to see if you can make the packet move up or down. Try different packets, such as those of mustard or soy sauce. Do they move the same way as the ketchup packet did?


3. Rain, Rain, Don’t Go Away!

weather science experiment

Make it rain inside your house.

You’ll need:

  • A plate
  • A glass mason jar
  • Ice cubes (about one or two cups)
  • Very hot water

Place the hot water into the glass jar, about a third of the way up. Put the plate on top of the jar. Place all the ice cubes carefully on the plate. Watch the inside of the jar start to exhibit rain!


4. Sunscreen Importance 101

sunscreen science experiment

Do your kids whine about wearing sunscreen? Show them the value of it with some sunscreen and black construction paper. Put a dab of sunscreen onto the paper and then smear it around. Place the black construction paper into direction sunlight for a few hours. Notice how the construction paper fades where the sunscreen wasn’t applied.


5. What Color is Your Celery?

science experiment

Little kids love to see how foods can be used for the purpose of science. In this experiment, they’ll play with celery and food coloring.

You’ll just need some celery stalks, water, clear glasses and several shades of food coloring. Fill each glass halfway with water and then add some food dye to each glass. Cut the celery stalks so the leafy part is at the top. Place the other end directly into the glass. Over several hours, the colored water will begin to move up into the stalk. After a period of time, the kids will see how the porous celery has absorbed the colored water.

NOTE: Some children are allergic to certain food dyes, so it’s best not to eat this experiment as a snack!


6. Make Your Own Jellyfish

science experiment

This experiment is mostly for pleasure, but kids really do love the results.

You’ll only need a one- or two-liter clear bottle (cleaned), a clear plastic grocery bag, dyed water (blue is nice), scissors and a white string. First, fill the bottle halfway with the dyed water. Then, lay out your plastic grocery bag. Start cutting it into small strips (you may need to do some trial runs with this.) Tie the strips together to form a jellyfish-like shape.

Now, push the plastic “jellyfish” into the dyed water. Gently add more dyed water on top of it, leaving at least two or three inches of air at the top of the bottle. Tightly secure the top to the bottle, and then allow your children to play with the “jellyfish in a bottle”.


7. Magnetic Magic

magnetic science experiment

Want to show a little one the power of magnets? Get an empty, clear two-liter soda bottle. Fill it with half-inch long pipe cleaner bits. (You can just cut them to this size.) There should be about 3-4 inches worth at the bottom of the soda bottle when you’re finished.

Now, let your child use a larger magnet to run along the side of the soda bottle. The metal-based pipe cleaners will be attracted to the magnets.


8. Will It Dissolve?

preschool science experiment

This is another fast experiment that doesn’t take much time to set up, but can provide a lot of fun discussions. You’ll just need a clear bowl filled with water, and several other bowls each filled with a variety of items: salt, sugar, baking soda, rice, tea, coffee, spices. Allow your child to put one ingredient into the bowl of water. Then, see if it dissolves. Continue with the experiment, removing the old water and re-filling the bowl each time.


9. How Does an Elephant Brush His Teeth?

toothpaste science experiments

Have you ever wondered what elephant toothpaste might look like? Tell your kids that you’re going to make some together.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • A two-liter soda bottle, cleaned
  • Hydrogen peroxide solution (at least 6% or greater)
  • Dishwashing soap (liquid)
  • Warm water
  • One yeast packet
  • Food coloring
  • A cooking pan (such as for a roast)


  1. Place the soda bottle upright in the middle of the cooking pan
  2. Fill the bottle with a half cup of hydrogen peroxide, a few drops of the food coloring, and a few drops of the dishwashing soap
  3. In another bowl, mix together two tablespoons of the warm water and the yeast, allowing the yeast to dissolve
  4. Allow your child to SLOWLY pour the yeast mixture into the soda bottle mixture and watch the elephant toothpaste come to life


10. The Twisted Candy Cane

science experiment for Christmas

Have too many candy canes after the holidays? Don’t pitch them or force yourself to eat them – turn them into science projects instead!

For this experiment, you’ll need several candy canes (any flavors or sizes should do), a baking sheet, an oven and some aluminum foil. Carefully unwrap the candy canes and place them onto pieces of aluminum foil that are shaped like they are. Put the aluminum foil and candy canes onto the baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When the oven is hot, pop the baking sheet into the oven. After two or three minutes, check on the candy canes. Don’t allow them to melt; they should just be malleable, not drippy! Test them with tongs, not your fingers. When they seem bendable, take them out of the oven and wait a minute so they won’t burn your hands. At the point that they can be safely touched, allow your children to twist them into shapes. Make pretzels and circles and curlicues!


11. Make Giant Gummies

science experiment with candy

Who doesn’t love a gummy bear? It’s even better when you see your favorite gummy treat expand to twice its size… or greater. Simply drop a gummy into a clean mason jar filled with water and wait. The porous gummy will absorb the liquid and expand.


9 Amazing Science Experiments for Older Kids and Teens

1. It’s Conductive!

science experiment

This experiment tests the electrical conductivity of several water-based liquids. It’s fascinating to see which conduct electricity and which don’t.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • One conductivity board (you can make your own or buy one online)
  • A glass bowl
  • Water
  • Different water-soluble liquids and solids (bleach, laundry detergents, food coloring, glycerine, salt, sugar, baking soda)


  1. Hook up the conductivity board
  2. Pour water into the glass bowl
  3. Test the conductivity of the water alone
  4. Add one of the water-soluble liquids or solids to the water and then retest, making note of any differences or similarities

NOTE: This makes a fun classroom experiment for homeschoolers.


2. It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Hovercraft!

science experiments for kids

Create a simple hovercraft that’s cool to operate using only a CD (make sure it’s one you don’t want to use again), a push-up top from a water bottle (cleaned), a balloon (round is best) and some superglue.


  1. Superglue the push-up top to the middle of the CD
  2. After the glue is dry, blow up the balloon
  3. Affix the balloon over the push-up top
  4. Place the CD onto a non-carpeted, bare floor and watch as the CD hovers from the escaping balloon air


3. How Egg-cellent!

science experiments with eggs

Did you ever want to walk on eggs, just to see what would happen? This project is hilarious, and great for groups of kids. While it’s fine for the younger set, it’s probably more impactful for older children.

You’ll need plenty of egg cartons filled with large eggs to create an eggy “walkway”, so if you’re doing this as a group, ask for donations. Lay down a layer of plastic garbage bags under the cartons of eggs, and line the cartons up lengthwise two cartons deep. Two-by-two, you can create long walkways.

Have all the kids remove their shoes and socks, and then line them up. Two kids can assist the child who is walking on the eggs. He or she should be asked to keep his or her foot as flat as possible to make this work. The assistants should help by alleviating some of the weight. Ideally, the child should be able to walk across all the eggs without breaking any.

NOTE: Be prepared for some eggs to break during the project. This means you’ll need some way to wash off goopy feet!


4. DIY Tornado

tornado science experiment

You can easily show how a tornado works with a mason jar, water and dishwashing detergent. Simply fill the mason jar about three-quarters of the way full with water, and add a few drops of the dishwashing detergent. Secure the top on the jar, and then shake it hard. Place the jar on a table, and a funnel should appear. Voila! Instant tornado!


5. Oobleck Fun

coolest science project

If you’ve never heard of Oobleck, it’s a creation of two cups of cornstarch mixed with one cup of water. When you play with it, it’s like a solid. When you allow it to rest, it becomes a liquid. Have fun trying some different ways of making it turn from a solid to a liquid and back again. This can make a really intriguing science fair project.


6. Help a Plant See the Light

plant science

Plants will always try to seek the sunlight, and you can show how this happens by making a maze out of shoebox, and then adding an everyday bean plant to the bottom of the maze. As the plant stretches and grows, it will twist and turn throughout the maze in order to reach the sun.

NOTE: This experiment takes place over several weeks. Again, it’s great for a science fair project or classroom experiment because of its length.


7. Eeek! That Egg Is Naked!

science experiments with eggs

When most eggs are without their shells, they certainly can’t be easily handled. But what would happen if you allowed an uncooked egg to sit in a glass filled with vinegar for about a day? Try it and carefully remove the shell, which will already been partially removed from the acidic solution. The egg should feel rubbery. See if it will splatter when you drop it from a height of a few inches.


8. Make Fireflies with a Glow Stick

fireflies in a jar

Tired of waiting around for summer to come and the fireflies to make their presence? Buy some glow sticks at the dollar store and open them up very carefully. Put the contents of the sticks into cleaned mason jars. Seal the jars, and then shake them well. The glow stick chemicals will affix to the jar sides and provide a soft glow. This is actually a nifty experiment if kids are going to have a classroom party and want a cool effect for table lanterns.


9. It’s “Snot” Funny!


Okay, it really is funny. Snot, that is. So why not create your own? Yes, it’s disgusting… but it’s an unforgettable experiment.

What you’ll need for this project:

  • Boiling water
  • A cup
  • Plain, unflavored gelatin
  • Corn syrup


  1. Fill the cup half-full of the boiling water
  2. Add three teaspoons of gelatin to the water
  3. Allow the gelatin to soften, then stir it with a fork
  4. Add a quarter of a cup of the corn syrup to the gelatin mixture
  5. Stir the new mixture with the fork again
  6. Check out the strands of “snot” that have formed

As the mixture continues to cool down, add small amounts of water to it. Then, gross out everyone. What’s not to love?

ADDED BONUS: Put some green food coloring into the boiling water.


Remember that you don’t have to go hog-wild with science projects. Even uncomplicated ones can pack an amazing wallop of fun.

The post 20 Awesome DIY Science Projects to Do With Your Kids appeared first on Lifehack.

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3466 days ago
Melbourne, FL
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U.S. Navy: Bring Out the Swarmbots!

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Here's a report that makes you want to shout "Faster please!"

As you read it, think about arming these things with stuff like (a) mini-torpedoes (b) mini-mines (c) missiles (d) chaff launchers (e) mini-guns (f) anti-wing in ground aircraft weapons and other stuff. More on this below.

U.S. Navy report on its new "swarmbot technology" "Navy's Autonomous Swarmboats Can Overwhelm Adversaries":
A technological breakthrough will allow any unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to not only protect Navy ships, but also, for the first time, autonomously "swarm" offensively on hostile vessels, officals at the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced Oct. 5.

The first-of-its-kind technology, successfully demonstrated over two weeks in August on the James River in Virginia, allows unmanned Navy vessels to overwhelm an adversary. Its sensors and software enable swarming capability, giving naval warfighters a decisive edge.

"This networking unmanned platforms demonstration was a cost-effective way to integrate many small, cheap and autonomous capabilities that can significantly improve our warfighting advantage," said Adm. Jonathan Greenert, chief of naval operations.

The technology, called CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing), is under development by ONR and can be put into a transportable kit and installed on almost any boat. It allows boats to operate autonomously, without a Sailor physically needing to be at the controls including operating in sync with other unmanned vessels, choosing their own routes, swarming to interdict enemy vessels and escorting/protecting naval assets.

"Our Sailors and Marines can't fight tomorrow's battles using yesterday's technology," said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. "This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy's long-term support for innovative research in science and technology."

In the demonstrations, as many as 13 Navy boats operated using either autonomous or remote control. First they escorted a high-value Navy ship, and when a simulated enemy vessel was detected, the boats sped into action, swarming around the threat.

In the future, the capability could scale to include even greater numbers of USVs and even to other platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

"This multiplies combat power by allowing CARACaS-enabled boats to do some of the dangerous work," said Dr. Robert Brizzolara, program manager at ONR. "It will remove our Sailors and Marines from many dangerous situations -- for instance, when they need to approach hostile or suspicious vessels. If an adversary were to fire on the USVs, no humans would be at risk."

The new technology will allow the USVs to detect, deter or destroy attacking adversaries. Any weapons fire from the USVs would need to be initiated by a Sailor supervising the mission.

Naval leadership has emphasized a blended force of manned and unmanned systems in recent years. Not only can USVs take on dangerous missions, thus protecting the warfighter, but even multiple USVs are a fraction of the cost of a single large manned ship.

Want to fight anti-access swarms by bad guys? How about sending 10 of these things out with something like floating mini-mines (minelets?) capable of of being fired off in a short-lived (a couple of hours? 30 minutes?) mine field patterns that builds an explosive barrier around a high value unit that an opposing swarm would have to deal with? Advantage? No targeting required, just lay out a field and then back it up with other swarmbots armed with other weapons, along with those great big gray hulls.

Dealing with small submarines? What about mini-torpedoes with both internal sensors and links to other systems (like sonobouys) that can be launched by remote control or by air. Make them capable of "waiting" until a confirmed detection.

Speaking of sensors - another use of these things could be to send sensors capable of reporting back to the launch vessel about areas too challenging for big ships (up rivers or in the littorals guarded by anti-ship cruise missiles.

Unleash the Sun Trackers!
Nice thing is that the Navy apparently could outfit itself with capable craft by simply going to Craigslist and buying up old bass boats and other motorboats. Think of using a pontoon boat as an "aircraft carrier" for drones (armed or intelligence collecting).

Need a new class of ship, though, "Swarmbot carriers." Perhaps using barges towed by other ships that can submerge enough to float the swarm into action positions?

Game changing.

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3543 days ago
Melbourne, FL
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LED displays are going to get much clearer thanks to a plasmonic cavity

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A plasmonic cavity sounds like technobabble straight out of an episode of Star Trek, but it could be the key to making LED displays clearer and more efficient. The plasmonic cavity is a […]
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3552 days ago
Melbourne, FL
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Islam's 30 Years War Has Begun

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Douglas Murray, Spectator
This isn't about the U.S. vs. al-Qaeda, but something much bigger.

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3654 days ago
Interesting take on the current situation in Syria, Iraq and the entire area.
Melbourne, FL
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Photo comparison shows D-Day beaches as they were in 1944 and as they are today

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RAF reconnaissance planes have taken shots of the D-Day beaches after 70 years. With today’s stand-off technology and higher resolutions.

RAF Tornado GR4 jets from II (AC – Army Co-operation) Squadron from RAF Marham have used today’s technology to emulate their World War II counterparts that, on D-Day, Jun. 6, 1944, took the first pictures of the Normandy landings.

The two Tornados flew at 400 mph and 20,000 feet over Gold, Juno, Utah and Sword beaches, replicating the images the same squadron and their Mustang brought back during the 36 reconnaissance sorties flown on D-Day.

70 years ago, II (AC) Squadron used bulky cameras loaded onto the bottom of the Mustangs to get panoramic images of the beaches. Today, a single Tornado sortie provides much better results using the RAPTOR (Reconnaissance Airborne Pod for Tornado) which takes aerial images and the Litening III Advanced Targeting Pod that is able to capture Full motion video.

Here’s the comparison between the quality of images taken today as compared to those of 1944.


Image credit: Crown Copyright

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3668 days ago
Very cool comparison of ISR then and now.
Melbourne, FL
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