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November 01, 2014

Open Thread: Hide n' Seek [Y-not]

Time for a change of pace post, I think.

Where's Waldo?

(If Waldo was an owl, that is.)

Owl2.jpg

More amazing examples of animal camouflage here.

Here's some hooters more to your liking (SFW):


HooterOwls.jpg

Speaking of camo, earlier this year USA Today published a brief history of military camouflage:

1898: During the Spanish-American War, the blue coats of U.S. troops fighting in Cuba were visible targets to snipers. Troops smeared mud on their uniforms to be less conspicuous.

1902: The U.S. Army changed its summer uniform to the brown khaki worn by British troops in India. The Army also adopted camouflage color for its winter service uniform-- a dull, greenish-brown color designed as "olive-drab." The blue uniform is kept for "dress" occasions

World War I era: With the emergence of machines guns, trench warfare and aerial photography, major armies worked on developing low-visibility uniforms. The U.S. Army formed a camouflage unit made up of camofleurs -- people who were artists and designers in their civilian lives.

Here's an interesting article that appeared in Gizmodo last January describing recent failures in camouflage development:

In 2004, the U.S. Army made a colossal mistake. It introduced a new digital camouflage called the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), a single pattern designed to work across all environments. Only a few months later, however, as the war in Iraq was intensifying by the day, every soldier on the ground knew the truth: by trying to work in every situation, UCP worked in none of them.
US Army's Pixellated Camo Uniform Is a $5 Billion Failure

Unfortunately, the race to find a pattern that actually works -- a race officially known as the Army's Camouflage Improvement Effort -- has been its own kind of debacle. In 2012, The Daily called it a "$5 Billion Snafu." The competition solicited new patterns from hundreds of camo designers, then whittled the entries down to four finalists. After four years (and millions of dollars), the Army seemed ready to pick a winner.

Yet the delays have continued. The latest rumor was that the entire Camo Improvement shebang was about to be cancelled. Instead, the theory went, the Army would simply adopt MultiCam, a digital camo made by the Brooklyn company Crye Precision, which has served as a stopgap measure since the revelation that the Universal Camo pattern didn't work.

Yet that hasn't happened yet, either -- and the tale grows stranger. Back in December, Congress introduced a bill that would block the Army entirely from introducing a new pattern this year. By 2018, however, the bill would require the entire Defense Department to adopt the same pattern. Politicians, it seems, are sick of spending money on this never-ending problem. In response to my request for comment from the military itself, spokesman William Layer could only tell me the following -- that "the Army is weighing numerous options and are factoring in recent legislative restrictions."

Also from that Gizmodo article, the finalists selected by the army:

Camo.jpg

And here's the one they chose.

I used to work in image analysis and processing. I'm not sure why choosing a camouflage pattern is so difficult.


Open thread.

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:50 PM

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