The Trestle At Kirtland Air Force Base

Boing Boing explains what The Trestle is at Kirtland Air Force Base. Further information is available at the wikipedia page for the the ATLAS-I (Air Force Weapons Lab Transmission-Line Aircraft Simulator), along with some photos showing aircraft on the Trestle being tested. The Trestle is easily viewable when landing or taking off from the Albuquerque Sunport.

The Trestle, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Constructed over four years in the late 1950s at a then-astronomical cost of $58 million, the Trestle is still the largest all-wooden structure in the world, comprising over 6 million feet of timber. Part of the Air Force’s research into the after effects of a nuclear blast, a range of aircraft, including huge B-52 bombers and Air Force One were hauled up onto the Trestle, where they would be bombarded with electromagnetic pulse waves (EMP) fired from an emitter on either side.

EMP waves travel long distances in a very short amount of time and can seriously disrupt electronic systems, as we also know from powerful solar emissions. Understanding how EMP might affect the functioning of retaliatory nukes, bombers or command and control aircraft was therefore an essential part of post-apocalyptic preparations.

Every element of the Trestle, right down to its oversized nuts and bolts, had to be wooden so that none of its own components would interfere with the effects of the EMP wave on the aircraft being tested (though apparently there are some small metal o-ring components deep in the mix). Inspecting all the joints took a dedicated team a whole year; as soon as they had finished it was time to start again.

A unique monument to Cold War rigor and ingenuity, reminiscent of a huge fairground ride, perhaps the Cyclone, Coney Island’s wooden roller coaster, or a wooden labyrinth, the Trestle is now a condemned structure, too unstable to use, too expensive to dismantle. Today it provides a home to local wildlife, including a colony of great horned owls who can be heard screeching from within its depths. Our guide tells us that she likes to collect the skulls of their prey, which they leave scattered around the base of the structure.

Serial Buttocks-Groper In Denver

From the Denver Post “Denver police looking for bald, heavy-set serial buttocks-groper

Police think the same man who fondled a woman’s backside at East Fifth Avenue and High Street on Aug. 21 grabbed another woman’s buttocks a few minutes later a block away on East Fourth Avenue.

Tuesday night, another woman was grabbed on the buttocks at an alley entrance between Newton and Osceola streets along West 37th Avenue.

The groper is described as Hispanic, in his late 20s to early 30s, about 6 feet tall. He also is described as bald and heavy-set.

No Place For Something Obscene Or Profanity In New Mexico

A man in Santa Fe had a New Mexico license plate that says IB6UB9 since 2009 according to KOAT “Man fights for controversial license plate back“. It seems to translate to “I will be 6 and you be 9 in a 69 sexual configuration” however the owner says it does not. The state has said it received an unspecified number of complaints that is has no proof of.

Robert Anaya’s vanity license plate was initially approved back in 2009, but he just got a letter from the Motor Vehicle Division saying it’s revoked because it’s considered obscene. The plate in question reads IB6UB9.

“If something is obscene or profanity, we have no place for it in New Mexico,” Taxation and Revenue Department Secretary Demesia Padilla said.

Anaya said his plate is not a sexual reference, but an inside joke with a friend from a night at a casino.

However, the state said it’s gotten enough complaints to cancel the plate. The state can’t provide those complaints because officials say they weren’t written or recorded.

Rio Rancho 58 On Money Magazine's Best Places To Live

Rio Rancho, NM is listed at number 58 on Money Magazine’s 100 places to live.

Top 100 rank: 58
Population: 93,100
Once a sleepy suburb of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho is coming into its own with employers like Hewlett-Packard and Intel helping add almost 2,500 jobs in the past couple of years. There’s now nightlife downtown in addition to many bike paths, parks, and horseback trails. The real estate market is still shaking off the doldrums of the housing downturn; while sales are picking up briskly, foreclosed homes dot the streets. Those on the buying side of the equation, however, can expect to find good deals.

I like living in Rio Rancho, but where is this downtown with the nightlife? And the bike paths and horseback trails are the same dirt roads.

"Breaking Bad" Style Meth Candy In The News

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports “NM shop sells ‘meth candy’ to honor ‘Breaking Bad’“. Prepare for complaints about how this candy shop is glorifying drug use meanwhile the TV show isn’t.

The owner of an Albuquerque candy store is selling a product she’s calling “meth candy” and is playing off the popularity of the hit TV-show “Breaking Bad.”

Debbie Hall, owner of The Candy Lady, said Monday that the blue-colored snack is merely sugar blocks, though it bears a close resemblance to the blue crystal causing havoc on the Albuquerque-based TV drama.

Horses Being Abandoned Due To The High Costs Of The Drought

From the NYTimes article “Horses Fall Victim to Hard Times and Dry Times on the Range

AZTEC, N.M. — The land is parched, the fields are withering and thousands of the nation’s horses are being left to fend for themselves on the dried range, abandoned by people who can no longer afford to feed them.

They have been dropping dead in the Navajo reservation in the Southwest, where neighbors are battling neighbors and livestock for water, an inherently scant resource on tribal land. They have been found stumbling through state parks in Missouri, in backyards and along country roads in Illinois, and among ranch herds in Texas where they do not belong.

Some are taken to rescue farms or foster homes — lifelines that are also buckling under the pressure of the nation’s worst drought in half a century, which has pushed the price of grain and hay needed to feed the animals beyond the reach of many families already struggling in the tight economy

Intel Expands Again In Arizona

From the azcentral article “Intel to build $300 million research facility in Chandler

Construction already is under way on the 285,000-square-foot research facility at Intel’s Chandler campus, northwest of Rural Road and Chandler Boulevard.

The construction project will employ nearly 1,000 workers and is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013, Intel officials said.

Intel Vice President and Director of Assembly and Test Technology Development Babak Sabi said the new facility would be used for “package development.”

“Package” refers to the housing around a microchip used to connect the chip to a computer board, Sabi said.