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scientific developments, inventions, design, sci fi

Das Boot

Tom Paine wrote: “Following progress with the boat with much interest.”  Amfortas wrote that he wanted me to get the thing on the water. Sackers did too. Ivan did too and all want pics of progress.

Tom also sent a little something which will delight you later today.  Amfortas also sent this clip below, asking: “Have you thought about anti-pirate fittings ?”

I replied: “Actually, I have very much thought of them. Am thinking of them seriously. Trouble is, they would need to be terminal. Were I sailing around the med, if boat people tried to board, something drastic would need to be done.”…

XM42 Flamethrower

xm42 flamethrower

Via haiku:

Byars added that the company has sold 350 units at $900 each, including shipping, in recent weeks. That’s in addition to the $150,000 the company raised on IndieGoGo.

The Ion product, known as the XM42, can shoot fire over 25 feet and has more than 35 seconds of burn time per tank of fuel. With a full tank of fuel, it weighs just 10 pounds.

Another company—XMatter, based in Cleveland, Ohio—sells a similar device for $1,600 each, but it weighs 50 pounds. However, this device has approximately double the range of the XM42. Quinn Whitehead, the company’s co-founder, did not immediately respond to Ars’ request for comment.

Nice first response.  Part of the armoury, as long as you’re not in the UK.…

Hit it and it might start working

The techie articles where something novel is invented and has a certain usefulness are always welcome.

Then there are  others which rabbit on about nothing and this extends into business start-up articles, especially those within serial offender publications, especially those with slick presentation and lovely boxes all over the place, great web design.

Such an article as this, sent with a warning by Chuckles:…

Is this the best solution?

imageYou techie gents [and ladies] might be able to help out here.

Why would you run the battery at the top? Would you not want the 4G near the top or, if not, then why the mast at all?

The solar panels don’t need a mast, they just need access to sunlight.

How long can you make that fibre-optic cable before it loses efficiency? Does it work on the same principle as copper wire?

Are the figures in the lower corners believable, both BT’s and his?


A nautical conundrum

Imagine, if you can, without diagrams, being in the forward guest cabin of my boat, looking towards the stern.

You come into the 9 foot long salon, with the galley on the right and chairs on the left, plus various storage places.

Then you step into a 2.5 foot space for shower and loo.

Then you step into my cabin of 6.4 feet, in which is my electronic gear, clothes etc.

Then there is a back wall with a 4 foot by 2 foot vertical emergency hatch built in [usually left closed]. Access to the cockpit involves going up a ladder to the deck and walking along, dropping down again through a third hatch aft.…

The saw

stanley 7tpi

[My previous saw]

The building was at the point where the handsaws needed to be used for the cleaner cut. A freely held circular does a goodish job for ply, with lines ruled onto it but for structural beams, I prefer a handsaw.

Not an issue today – go to Google, find what Google throws up and there it was – Amazon, Screwfix, various others … and MyToolShed.

Two saws, both 22″, not the 20 inch of the last two which were stolen.

One learns from one’s mistakes, trusting inside residents.  We know who it is, we can’t prove it. It’s cost me.  No matter.  So I had to buy two saws as I was ready for the heavy cutting.…

The SR-71 Blackbird

sr71 1

In April 1986,  following  an attack on American soldiers in a Berlin disco, President  Reagan
ordered the bombing of Muammar Qaddafi’s terrorist camps in Libya.

My duty was to fly over Libya and take photographs recording the damage our  F-111’s had  inflicted. Qaddafi had established a ‘line of death,’  territorial marking across the Gulf of Sidra, swearing  to shoot down any intruder that crossed the   boundary.…

Playing God – what could possibly go wrong?

This is one of those which, with everything else which has to be done today, a person thinks nah, not going to bother.

Because it’s going to require contradicting the person who sent it, a computer engineer and I’m loathe to do that because then we get dragged into an “I never said that” scenario, “you did” and so on.

And it all hinges on the word “interesting”, whether you find it interesting or horrifying.  And if you find it interesting, then what does that say about that mindset?  And conversely, as it’s only about computers, what could possibly be horrifying about that?

And it relates to everything from Hitler’s eugenics through to the Manhattan project to Skinner to Pavlov.  And to an organization, should it exist, vitally interested in such things, as well as in Malthus and yes – I know he is forever misquoted.

So let’s walk straight in and do this.…

On being forced into choices one wished to avoid

Among the other ritual abuse over the boat from my mate on Sunday, he asked why I was concentrating on the rig and sails if I wasn’t even going to sail for a couple of years.

Coz I must.  Coz this is the point, now, when the strong points are built in beneath the deck, at the gunwhales, the rig determines the front deck, placement of pontoons and where the CLR is going to be.…