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Belaying to bollards, cheesing down ropes and other joys

HMS_Surprise_(replica_ship)_main_deck_7

One of the things I’m now having to do is go back and relearn my sailcraft.

Modern boats reduce a sailor to dependence on devices and I was no exception with the Harken blocks, travellers etc. but with the square-rigged vessel, even a small one, it all has to be remembered, relearned or learnt from scratch.

The one I’ll need to gather all the cordage is how to hang to a belaying pin properly. This pdf for naval cadets is a great starter:

hanging a coil

Oh yes, that cheesing down of ropes – here’s how to do it:

cheesing down a rope

Discarded OCR images released into the public domain

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If people visit Techdirt as a matter of course, and El Reg, what’s the point of NO running stories from those sources?

The answer, of course, is that not everyone reads tech journals and so this might be of interest below. Haiku sends the story of the man who has used the discarded OCR images and released them into the public domain which, as Techdirt says, is awesome:

To achieve his goal, Mr Leetaru wrote his own software to work around the way the books had originally been digitised.

The Internet Archive had used an optical character recognition (OCR) program to analyse each of its 600 million scanned pages in order to convert the image of each word into searchable text.To achieve his goal, Mr Leetaru wrote his own software to work around the way the books had originally been digitised.

The Internet Archive had used an optical character recognition (OCR) program to analyse each of its 600 million scanned pages in order to convert the image of each word into searchable text.

Quick report

Quick look around the MSM – not a lot new, too much to do to be worried about that just now, some posts in the pipeline, not a lot of time to do them justice either. Possibly Sunday morning. No time to food shop in town, shall make do with corner shop.

Imagine you’re pretty busy too, either with back to school or those late August jobs or last minute trips. Imagine some of you have the first couple of weeks of September planned for your getaway.

Just did a Yougov and the Rotherham issue was the one of course. Carswell didn’t appear in it. Nor Dave’s speech. Maybe that’s later.

Shall check blogs tomorrow morning as I like to read rather than skip through.

Build report

It was a far more momentous decision than I thought, opting for the square rig approach. It’s not just the position on the deck but the whole way the boat sails.…

Building

Posting’s been thin today because of the building – making progress.

One of the things I had to do was finalize the rig dimensions, particularly the sails and it came down to two choices – a junk rig and a traditional square sail and jib affair.

Advantage of the junk is that with those heavy slats, yards and boom, plus the thick mast, there really is almost complete control but the downside is very flat drive in the sails.

Advantage of the traditional is that the area is broken up into smaller chunks, more handlable by someone older and allowing a large number of combinations. With 9 sails, 3 to each mast, would I be wrong in saying the combinations are 9! ? Downside is more work to raise and lower but it’s also an upside as sails can be tucked away in a storm.

So it’s swings and roundabouts and I was dithering, to be honest.…

Birds versus climate change

Something new for the lefties:

Federal investigators in California have requested that BrightSource — owner of thermal solar plants — halt the construction of more (and bigger) plants until their impact on wildlife has been further investigated.

“Unlike many other solar plants, the Ivanpah plant does not generate energy using photovoltaic solar panels. Instead, it has more than 300,000 mirrors, each the size of a garage door. Together, they cover 1,416 hectares. Each mirror collects and reflects solar rays, focusing and concentrating solar energy from their entire surfaces upward onto three boiler towers, each looming up to 40 stories high.

The solar energy heats the water inside the towers to produce steam, which turns turbines that generate enough electricity for 140,000 homes.”

The concentrated solar energy chars and incinerates the feathers of passing birds. BrightSource estimates about a thousand bird die this way every year, but an environmental group claims the real number is much higher.