Category: Technology & ideas

scientific developments, inventions, design, sci fi

The Higgins boat

World War Two:

These plywood and paint craft would carry the Allied nation’s hopes and means of liberation to France and the ultimate destruction of the German Army and the achievement of General Eisenhower’s charge by the Combined Joint Chiefs of Staff.  At this moment, an alcoholic Irishman named Andrew Jackson Higgins won the war.

More here ...

Concrete boats

Some have a bit of a struggle understanding how concrete boats float.

In this case, it didn’t:

As the readers at this blog know though, it’s not about the weight, it’s about displaced weight being greater than actual weight. That is, given the volume of the boat, what weight of water it pushes aside – if this is greater than the dead weight, the boat floats, provided there are no leaks.

With the SS Palo Alto, there were clearly leaks.  then it comes down to the ‘floatability’ of the selected material.… More here ...

Driverless? No thanks!

When Uber picked this former Rust Belt town as the inaugural city for its driverless car experiment, Pittsburgh played the consummate host.

“You can either put up red tape or roll out the red carpet,” Bill Peduto, the mayor of Pittsburgh, said in September. “If you want to be a 21st-century laboratory for technology, you put out the carpet.”

Nine months later, Pittsburgh residents and officials say Uber has not lived up to its end of the bargain. Among Uber’s perceived transgressions: The company began charging for driverless rides that were initially pitched as free. It also withdrew support from Pittsburgh’s application for a $50 million federal grant to revamp transportation. And it has not created the jobs it proposed in a struggling neighborhood that houses its autonomous car testing track.

Blame is being pointed in many directions

Best forget all about it then.… More here ...

Classic cars, classic anything

This was scheduled yesterday, well before the events of last evening. It shall not be taken down, as life does go on for the majority not murdered last evening.

Why?  Why must they be called classic and by that, I mean why are the offerings today, with all their slickness, so aesthetically dire?  Why can’t we still have classic design? I mean, even as cars did improve in aerodynamics and technology, there was still, up to a point, a certain classicism dare I say, in the design:… More here ...

20/20: Surely a fair and reasonable offer

Via haiku:

Ford South Africa has offered Reshall Jimmy’s next-of-kin a free Ford car as part of a settlement to compensate them for his death, stated Rapport. Following Jimmy’s death – when his Ford Kuga caught alight and he was trapped inside – and several other Ford Kugas catching fire, the company recalled the cars in January.

The company provisionally offered the family the free car, the possibility of a donation to a charity of their choice, and to carry the cost of the destroyed Kuga, stated the report. This was after Jimmy’s insurance company refused the claim.

Sounds OK to me but what’s this – some people are never satisfied:

His mother reportedly said she would never set foot in a Ford again.

Well actually, on second thoughts, one can see what Ford were trying to do – it was a cunning plan to wipe out the entire family.… More here ...


Wasn’t going to post again today but this is annoying – what on earth is a sailing mag [via Chuckles, good to see him reading such things] doing printing rubbish like this?

“Undaunted is designed to pitch rather than roll. That is counter to most boat designs. With better roll stability it will slip off the wind less as it leans forward. If it was more inclined to roll it would move forward and spill the wind from side to side, and be less efficient with more movement.

What utter claptrap – designed to pitch. The last thing you want is pitching or dolphining or submarining. Ok, he built a full, blunt pram bow but the thing is still going to pitch – it’s a function of length and weight distribution, innit?

And that tall sail on a 42 inch boat! That will give him all the heeling he doesn’t want.… More here ...

What’s Apple been up to post-Jobs?

This part, via Chuckles, struck a chord:

It’s kind of a Hank Scorpio campus as in a 1970s sci-fi movie filmed at Malibu Creek:

Though he always professed to loathe nostalgia, Jobs based many of his ideas on his favorite features of the Bay Area of his youth. “His briefing was all about California—his idealized California,” says Stefan Behling, a Foster partner who became one of the project leads. The site Apple had bought was an industrial park, largely covered by asphalt, but Jobs envisioned hilly terrain, with sluices of walking paths. He again turned to Stanford for inspiration by evoking the Dish, a popular hiking area near the campus where rolling hills shelter a radio telescope.

My impression is that a fair number of billionaires, such as Jobs, are homeboys who really like where they grew up. Jobs insisted on planting orchards on the campus like Silicon Valley had when he was a lad.More here ...