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scientific developments, inventions, design, sci fi

The state of IT education

Worth a read:

We live in a time when the entire knowledge of humanity is available at the click of a mouse, when almost every published book of knowledge still worth reading is available for free online or dirt cheap as an e-book. And yet the process most of today’s IT pros use to learn a skill amounts to asking somebody else how to do something.

Ivan destroys my boat

Well, he doesn’t actually but he got me to thinking hard and having some professional advice from builders, timbermen and the glueman on that bow, i.e. they took a look and went over it.    Plus my mate, a practical sort of guy.

All of them said it was solid and with that reinforcing, would resist twist but even so, I wasn’t happy. I know big seas, their angles and what they can do in one crunch, let alone a scissors movement and though the main hull is sound, the bow was always going to be the vulnerable bit.

All the way along, I’ve left myself escape routes in case it’s not made right and I’m taking one of those escape routes tomorrow. Instead of the three pontoon set-up, it’s going to retain the inner V and then outer “wings” to the sides, [already there] which then go upwards. I’ve just drawn the cuts for tomorrow.…

From Wiggia’s travels

Wiggia sent this pic of a cat he saw near Port Adelaide decades ago and I’m afraid I might have been a bit churlish in reply, saying it was clearly an 80′s cat.


Actually, they were really nice, in a woody sort of way, the 80′s multihulls [this one might be GRP or wood, can't really tell from here] and I wouldn’t mind having it but they did suffer from some drawbacks, which are spelt out in this “bible” on multihull safety. Shuttleworth is greatly respected in the field.

4. Early catamaran. Relatively heavy. Narrow beam (L/B often over 2). High windage. Small sail area. Inefficient underwater shape and low aspect fixed keels. Cruising cats very heavy by today’s standards. Large flat windows in coachroof causing high windage. Often prone to hobbyhorsing and pitching due to rocker and symmetry of hulls.

5. Second generation cat. Open bridgedeck designs. All accommodation in the hulls.

New tech a double-edged sword


Nothing new in this but perhaps a timeless reminder:

Digital cameras are almost everywhere, and they’re getting smaller and smarter. Whole new categories of cameras are being developed that don’t need lenses or don’t need large sensors. Instead, algorithms are being used to manipulate digitized light rays to create impressive images without traditional camera components. Here are just a few examples.

The trickle shower using bucket technology

Did you see this solar-powered shower?


Not much use under 21 degrees.  I’m taking a different approach for the boat.

There’s a bucket with a finely perforated group of concentric circles in the middle of the base.   Another unperforated bucket slides over that and is clipped to the first at the rim.   This double bucket is half filled with cold water and topped up with boiling water from the kettle.

The double bucket is then hung from a strong hook up in the skylight roof support beam.

There’s a large tub of two and a bit foot wide by the same deep in which the person stands.  The outer bucket above is unclipped and the trickle shower starts.

After the shower, the tub is emptied by the handpump into the non-perforated bucket [2 minutes - I've practised] and the water then taken up* and tipped over the side of the boat.…