Author Scott Fontaine

When you cough, do you ever wonder whether it’s mold or asbestos that’s slowly making you sick? Have you ever justified the peeling paint on your walls by saying, “Well, hey, there’s not that much lead in there.” And do you describe the hole termites ate in your back wall as “God’s air conditioning?” If you answered yes to any of those questions, the folks at ABC want to demolish your home, build you a new one and videotape you freaking out over your sudden good fortune. Yes, you could be on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” The producers are looking…

One day, that fighter jet you work on could get kids to school — and arrive much, much faster than a minivan. CBS News has this fun story about a school bus retrofitted with an engine from an F-4 Phantom II. The 42,000-horsepower engine can push the bus up to 320 mph. So why put a fighter engine in a school bus? “We thought a bus because it would be cool and we go into a lot of schools with kids and stuff like that and we thought that would be kind of neat and plus we got three seats…

Humble in acquisitions, you will be. The Galactic Empire learned that lesson long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Its first Death Star was the size of a small moon – and yet one missile launched from an X-wing fighter destroyed it. Its replacement wasn’t even operational when rebels managed to blow it up. The reason it was vulnerable? Construction was behind schedule – and even the intervention of Darth Vader couldn’t get it finished on time. One Air Force acquisition officer says today’s military should pay attention to the lessons of the Star Wars movies. “The investment…

If you watch a game at the House that J.P. Losman Built, you might just be inspired enough to join the Air Force. That’s what the 313th Recruiting Squadron is banking on. The unit and the Buffalo Bills just announced a deal that will allow the service to advertise on signage at Ralph Wilson Stadium and on buffalobills.com. The squadron also will “activate” a tailgate party area on game days. And since we’re on the topic, let’s hope the war in Iraq ends better than Super Bowl XXV:

An Air Force B-52 crashed in Maine in 1963, killing seven of the nine people on board. In 1993, a snowmobiling club set up a memorial to honor the fallen airmen. Now that snowmobile club is urging others to quit the jackassery. The B-52 coordinator for the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club told the Bangor Daily News people are vandalizing the area and leaving with pieces of the wreckage. He asked anyone who removed part of the bomber to return it. “Anything removed from this site shows a total disrespect for those committed to protecting all of us,” Pete Pratt told…

When I turned 21, I drank until I couldn’t stand up anymore and ultimately got thrown out of the bar. When the 94th Fighter Squadron turned 94, they burned a piano. Clearly, they have a better imagination than yours truly.

The State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is looking mighty blue lately. Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan joined the bureau as its deputy assistant secretary for plans, programs and operations. He replaced Maj. Gen. Thomas Masiello, directing the acquisition of special programs for the Defense Department. The moves were announced a few months ago. But The Cable has this interesting tidbit about the job: “Givhan is now the highest ranking military officer at the State Department, and his appointment is meant to cement the presence of a high-ranking active duty officer in PM, a State Department official told The Cable. Before…

We all know of the unofficial policy of different spanks for different ranks — but what can you make of this one? A snake that killed a 2-year-old girl at Eglin Air Force Base in 2009 will now be used in training. Gypsy, an 8-foot-6 albino Burmese python, “now will be used in swamp training at ranger camp,” according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. The newspaper reported the toddler, Shaianna Rosa Hare, died July 1, 2009, “after the python slid into her crib and constricted her. Her mother, Jaren Hare, and her live-in boyfriend, Charles “Jason” Darnell, each were…

So… how much does it cost to FedEx a trophy from Oklahoma to Arkansas? Air Mobility Command admitted this week it bungled the calculation of scoring at this summer’s Air Mobility Rodeo at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. The command discovered the problem as they prepared to release detailed scoring data to participants. That altered the score for best air mobility wing, the competition’s top prize. The trophy originally had been awarded to the 97th Air Mobility Wing at Altus Air Force Base, Okla., but instead will go to the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The…

Were you hoping to say good-bye for good to Joint Base Balad? And BIAP? And Taji? And all those other areas across Iraq that U.S. troops are supposed to leave by the end of the year? It’s becoming apparent American troops will remain in Iraq in 2012 and beyond — but the Iraqis aren’t exactly making the planning easy. The Iraqi ambassador to the U.S. told ForeignPolicy.com an extension “has been largely agreed upon.” “You’ll see it when you see it,” Samir Sumaida’ie said. “Americans want everything now or yesterday. We don’t do it like this. We do it in…

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