Author: Chuckles

Mysterious tech-minded ghost

The world of the big truckers

I am, as John McPhee called it, the undisputed admiral of my fleet of one.

Bedbuggers are shunned by other truckers. We will generally not be included in conversations around the truckstop coffee counter or in the driver’s lounge. In fact, I pointedly avoid coffee counters, when there is one, mainly because I don’t have time to waste, but also because I don’t buy into the trucker myth that most drivers espouse.

I don’t wear a cowboy hat, Tony Lama snakeskin boots, or a belt buckle doing free advertising for Peterbilt or Harley-Davidson. My driving uniform is a three-button company polo shirt, lightweight black cotton pants, black sneakers, black socks, and a cloth belt. My moving uniform is a black cotton jumpsuit.

I’m not from the South and don’t talk as if I were. Most telling, and the other guys can sense this somehow, I do not for a moment think I’m a symbol of some bygone ideal of Wild West American freedom or any other half-mythic, half-menacing nugget of folk nonsense.More here ...

Tracking the future

The future:

The USA is embarking upon a further upgrade of the M1 Abrams series, the M1A2 SEP v.3, with the SEP v.4 to follow in the 2020’s.  Russia has unveiled the T-14 Armata, a main battle tank that will be accompanied by a series of other armored vehicles built on the same platform.

Israel has been working on a successor to its Merkava series tanks for some time.

Here’s a video simulation, showing what it calls the Carmel tank project.  It’s still a concept, and doesn’t even exist in prototype form yet, but shows how that country is thinking about the future of main battle tanks and armored fighting vehicles.  It’s rather different to US and Russian thinking on the subject.

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Slippery slope, this one …

This one’s an acquired taste:

New lubricated mussel-proof coating

At a conference in Italy in 2013, Nicolas Vogel, then a postdoctoral fellow in Joanna Aizenberg’s lab at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), gave a talk about the group’s slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces (SLIPS) coatings, which promised to prevent nearly anything from adhering to structures to which they were applied.

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