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scientific developments, inventions, design, sci fi

Ugliest car in the world contender?

This is a piece on beauty overall.   Is this the ugliest car in the world?   You’ll recall that pic some days ago.


[Also amusing [or not] is whom I lifted it from and many thanks:   Yes, let’s have women in control of everything coz we’re all Emasculados now and no good for anything.]

It’s my contention that there are many features on the human being, the car and the yacht which are, in themselves, beautiful – the heart-shaped face, the bow lips, the aerodynamic lines, the bringing together to the grille but that when those are incorporated, either forgetting other lines or underplaying them excessively, it produces ugly rather than beautiful.

To me, and humblest apologies to the lady, the singer of Shocking Blue was like that.  She had a number of  features of beauty but they were exaggerated, almost to the point of caricature.…

The scientific method requires honesty – especially on climate


This from haiku comes with the rejoinder: “We can’t get the facts to fit – so ignore the facts.”

Where do we start? I’m going to trot out that old quote always appropriate for these occasions – the Sergeant Holcombe:

Perry Mason, advocate, had just finished pointing out an anomaly in Sergeant Holcombe’s evidence in a murder trial and now asked, ‘Does that seem logical to you?’

Sergeant Holcombe hesitated a moment, then said, ‘Well, that’s one of those little things. That doesn’t cut so much ice. Lots of times you’ll find little things which are more or less inconsistent with the general interpretation of evidence.’

‘I see,’ Mason said. ‘And when you encounter such little things, what do you do, Sergeant?’

‘You just ignore ’em,’ said Holcombe.

‘And how many such things have you ignored, Sergeant, in reaching your [current] conclusion?’

This blog and all who sail on her believe in the scientific method – not the academic method or any other – but the scientific method.…

Couple of lunchtime topics

Late lunch here – let’s have a couple from the lads.


Delusions of adequacy

Do you think it’s getting worse or has it always been like this? You know, bumbling into WW2, that sort of thing? Have we always been hopeless or is the new dumbing down and Matriarchy a major factor?


Would Elon want to see our Dave in one of his mobiles?

Simplicity is the aim

Uninspiring? Yes. Boring? Possibly. But behind this sail are hundreds of hours of thought, sifting, looking at every advantage and disadvantage.

lugsail with battens

The disadvantages of this lugsail with battens is that it is flat and putting camber in depends on the way it is sailed. It does not go upwind as well as a modern Bermudan – about the same as a gaff. Plus that’s a large piece of timber [the yard] above. Yet it’s a controlled piece of timber.

The advantages are many. First among these is simplicity – it has the fewest working parts.

Then comes safety – it drops with one line released from the cockpit and is raised again the same way.

In strong winds, those battens, yard and boom keep it under control, less flapping, less being scooped up and dumped by wind and wave. If the sail tears, it tears only in that panel. The angle you see is the angle it must be.…

Genetic discoveries about to go up a gear


Scary, if it ends up in the wrong hands and then into the human population. Seems a bit obvious that discussing it will put it into the hands of those who wish to completely turn us into sheep. That’s if it isn’t already ‘owned’ by Them.

But compared with what’s coming next, all that will seem like child’s play. A new technology just announced today has the potential to wipe out diseases, turn back evolutionary clocks, and reengineer entire ecosystems, for better or worse. Because of how deeply this could affect us all, the scientists behind it want to start a discussion now, before all the pieces come together over the next few months or years. This is a scientific discovery being played out in real time.

Have chosen the sails

my sail

18oz water-resist and anti-UV canvas.  Not light – 15kg each sail, before boom, yard and battens – maybe 25kg all up per sail.  Lots of issues with canvas but … just wanted canvas, right?  :)  Think it will go nicely with reddish spars, green battens.

As far as I can see, there’s a small but significant number who are following these sailing posts and this next bit is for them.

Having chosen the cloth, the critic will say – 18oz?  Way too heavy for light airs and immersed in water, which it would be, capsized, the laminations will eventually give way.

Unfortunately true but there are things which can be done.  Firstly, it will need care, never stored damp for long, aired and folded carefully in harbour, cleaned from time to time.

Secondly, I’m using the sail plan on the left below [A]:

sail plans

All four have similar areas. The one on the left is a Chinese lugsail or junk, next is the balance lugsail, then the gaff and the one on the right is today’s ubiquitous bermudan.…

The paint scheme, part deux

People, I really need your help.

The range of choices have now been narrowed and I’ll choose from three of these below. I’d appreciate your forthright comments on which goes with which as I get one chance to get this right and live for years with the decision. So don’t mince words, please.

Epoxy pigment green is unable to be changed now – I’ve bought it and it’s my prime colour, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides to the gunwhales. There will also be green in the astroturf on deck and a lighter version in the sails. Furniture, sleeping bags etc. are also this colour, more or less – it’s like the dark olive green you see at camping places:

epoxy boat green small

Immediately above the green sides of the boat are the gunwhales and then other trim, never more than four inches wide and these are the choices below. The first is, as mentioned last night:

Paint red [covering blemishes]:

49 red small

… and the second is if I go a similar pigment route to the green [mixing with epoxy, a pain] but in:

Epoxy pigment red [blending with the grain but showing marks, imperfections]:

epoxy pigment red small

This would be a waste on topsides as it contains anti-foul and is a bit more expensive.…