... and a few things the British Empire didn't invent
... such as 100 octane aviation spirit, which the Air Ministry began buying in large quantities from US refiners. A month or two on from Dunkirk, same fighter aircraft, same engines, MORE POWER!
269 posts • joined 20 Apr 2007
As I recall all the early Nork Tests had very small yields -- people were pointing the finger of fizzle, or even suggesting there had been no gadget, someone had lit off a big pile of TNT instead and lied about it.
It is possible, but highly unlikely, that this involved about 200,000 tons of TNT.
Any indication of what they were up to? Plutonium pit? Oralloy? Single or two-stage device? I dare say there are US technical agencies that know, but aren't telling.
I finally got my MacMini rebuilt, working, running 10.14.6. After a fortnight.
There was a period of about 4hr when it was running a fresh install of 10.15 on a clean disk, and it was running as advertised.
I was still finding bugs about every 5 min.
My relief, when I resorted to the recovery console for the umpteenth time and tried yet again to restore via Time Machine, that this time I was offered a 10.14.6 restore point, was immense.
In the meantime my iPhone seems permanently to have a red badge on the System Preferences app icon, and every time I look, it's telling me about a different iOS 13 update. 13.2 now? Wonder what it'll be tomorrow morning? [EDIT ha! already pulled!]
The iOS crew seems to have attracted all the grownups, but I'm not letting them change the software on my phone voluntarily until the dust has settled on whichever build and it has been pronounced righteous by others.
I'll have a think about that patch for Mojave.
Also it appears a bunch of downloads, including Mojave itself, have disappeared from the Mac App Store. There is a rumour that an Apple code signing cert has expired; certainly that would explain why my Mojave USB thumbdrive installer decided its copy of Mojave was now corrupt. If this rumour is true, it is not clear if those downloads will be back, newly re-signed. After all, Cupertino is going to have to resort to something drastic to force adoption of Catastrophe....
Took several hours to download and begin install, then hung during 'setting up' phase.
ssh'ed in from my ancient MacBook, go a listing from /bin/ps
System apparently idle but for photoanalysisd .
Went to Apple to report this, but couldn't -- needed to use Chrome because the newest Safari on the ancient MacBook doesn't do TLS past 1.0.
Currently scraping off all the 32 bit apps I had that no longer work.
Opening Safari? Hope you bought a book to read.
Yep. Demonstrated that to our French visitors during the twinning society visit last month.
I was sure there’d be at least one devout Orthodox Pythonist among them. It seems there wasn’t.
And I listened to a lengthy complaint in French from one of our guests, who had an iPad with the same app I was using, except it appeared she hadn’t followed the recommendation to download the required language packs, and her iPad was a WiFi-only model.
En principe, oui, le singe est dans l’arbre
Caller: so we have ascertained that there was a catastrophic aerofoil control systems failure, the aircraft flipped on its back and accelerated, impacting the ground at around 600kts, killing all passengers and crew, and burying much of the wteckage. Has the Air Accident Investigation Board been able to establish any causes?
Panel: ah, the answer lies in the soil!
three weapon spread, Mark VIII** so two major updates to a weapon introduced in 1919 that saw us through WW2. Two hit, the third ran on and duplex-fused (ie, the magnetic influence thingy) near one of the two escorting destroyers, damaging its bow; it is because those ships thought they were under attack that they dudn’t loiter to pick up Belgrano survivors.
The other weapon Wreford-Brown had available was the wire-guided Mark 24 Tigerfish. It is unclear whether he picked the Mark VIII** for its bigger warhead for attacking a WW2-era armoured target, or for general distrust of the Marconi-developed Mark 24, which at that time had a reputation for not working properly on account of being unfinished.
"I have no clue about nuclear submarines, just asking"
well, it does show a little ...
It's not that they're obsolete or surplus, it's that they're worn out and the nuclear propulsion system is f**ked. They ought to be scrap, but we can't scrap them fast enough.
And any kind of research, cable laying, monitoring or prospecting could be done way cheaper with a ship than with a submarine.
Go on, explain why.
All the hazardous material has been stripped out except for (maybe) the reactor core, and the reactor compartment which contains bits of radioactive stuff mostly deemed low or intermediate.
I suppose if you really wanted to cause a nuclear accident (radiological rather than fissile) by eg working really hard at crashing aeroplanes fuel of fuel into the reactor core stores, you might succeed, and having this happen in a city centre would be worse than having it occur somewhere less densely populated.
The submarines aren't a significant risk to public safety, even in Plymouth Dockyard about 100m from a primary school, but failing to defuel them is a risk, wherever they are.
"Also, it’s mildly radioactive since it contains low deposits of uranium and thorium."
Hmmm. In principle then we could also be using bioleaching to separate out uranium and thorium?
I'm scratching my head. The bacteria produce gluconic acid, is that the whole business of making them available to chemical separation, or is there a biological component too?
Chemical reactions conducted by biology tend to be different to those conducted by geology or chemists. Enzymes tend to be very efficient catalysts. Biological reactions tend to proceed via a much larger number of transition (intermediate) states than abiological ones, and this sometimes shows up in the isotopic distributions of elements in reaction products -- reactions with lighter isotopes go faster.
Could we then use biotechnology both for refining uranium ore, and isotope separation? Enrichment? That'd be good for a laugh.
[Yes I reread the article, no biotechnological step in the chemical separation. But I can dream can't I?]
It appears we're about to digress into philosophy.
Is language a prerequisite for self-awareness and thought? Is it possible to think, to have thoughts, without words?
'Cogito, ergo sum' ... but how do you express that without language? If you could think it without language, would it still be true?
How, then, is this funky AI system going to transform thoughts into speech, when thoughts don't necessarily correspond to language?
The RN's Submarine Service was exploiting the thermocline during the Great War; during the Dardanelles campaign, it was possible to park one's boat at the boundary, because it floated on the cold water below but sank in the warmer water above, although there is one instance recorded of the crew having done this at night and woken in the morning to find their boat was now on the roof, ie at the surface
Or, indeed, Bill Penney. Who wanted to be remembered for his contribution to science, and not for his specific contributions to the Manhattan Project and to its British successors.
And who wouldn't want a man named Penn[e]y on the £50?
This is also the man who demanded, and got, an IBM machine with a FORTRAN compiler after his first efforts at a two-stage device didn't work. The next set of tests ran just fine.
Yes. Not much fallout at all. Tiny selectable-yield H-bombs engineered to be clean.
Freeman Dyson & co generated estimates of how many fatal cancers would be caused globablly for each launch, and the number was 'less than 10', but they knew that was politically unacceptable.
I wonder how many folks die of lung cancer caused by exposure to nuclear radiation from trace elements in coal smoke? Gotta be way more than 10
Yup. 'Camouflet'. Rearrange the ground under the target, creating a void which then collapses, messing with any structures built above. Streamlined, armour piercing, fancy steel casing .. go to the memoirs to find aircrew saying they were different from other bombs, as they fell they didn't tumble, they just dropped straight down, spinning as they picked up speed.
The 4000 to 12000 lb HC "blockbuster" bombs on the other hand .... cookies! Unremarkable steel dustbins full of high explosive, often dropped in company with about 1000x 4lb incendiaries. The cookie might knock down lots of buildings, such as an entire street of houses, and the incendiaries would then set fire to the wreckage. Not nice? No. But Bomber Command learned part of its business by looking at bomb sites in the UK.
3 million tons being approximately 1/17 the yield of the Soviet Tsar Bomba, as tested in 1961, at 50% of selectable yield.
Think on that; six years of industrial warfare on a global scale, including the first three fission bombs, being a tiny fraction of the yield of a single weapon 20 years later
Or even thermonuclear gadgets.
The ship would be about a thousand tons of cast iron drive plate, about a thousand tons of crew space on top ... and a very big spring/shock absorber contraption in the middle, plus a few thousand tiny selectable-yield H-bombs in a magazine on rails a bit like a beer bottling plant, that'd be about another thousand tons.
Set the fuse on a bomb for maybe 2s after it arms itself, shoot it out of a hole in the drive plate using some sort of spring cannon, then slam the trapdoor shut.
This chemical rocket fuel business isn't half as much fun; doesn't deliver half the specific impulse either.
Nope. Forty days there, maybe forty days on the surface, forty days back.
I'll want a really massive radiation shield made out of freshly-mined lead for all living spaces, on the voyage spacecraft, lander and habit to keep out cosmic nastiness.
And an even bigger radiation shield to keep me safe from my own propulsion plant!
Look, I'm just some fat oaf behind a keyboard -- physics and gastronomy, pasta and antipasta, that sort of thing.
I reckon I'm better qualified than him to fly on that thing (apart from the billionaire bit, obviously). And I wouldn't fancy it; too many things that could go wrong and either kill me if i didn't fix them promptly, or just kill me. It's not even like the flight will be to low Earth orbit and back, so if anything went wrong I could go for an early re-entry.
Ascent phase goes wrong and I get dropped almost anywhere? Gobi desert, Greenland glacier, Amazonian rain forest, Peckham? I might cope. Middle of the Pacific, have to get out before the spacecraft sinks and then swim for it? Hmmm. Failed circuit breaker, need to wedge it with a pen cap? Yes I know that one. Tiny hole in the cabin during re-entry and no pressure suit? Suppose you can't spot the hole, or can see it but not reach it, to bung it?
Got stung on the wrist myself at a beer festival a fortnight ago. I played nicely all weekend (no swatting!) but got stung anyway. I’d include the picture if I could, but El Reg’s below-the-line stuff doesn’t support that.
Wasp sting treatment? Insect bite creams like Anthisan are good. Or failing that, topical application of something mildly acidic like lemon juice. Or application of ice. You can imagine I had lots of trouble finding ice and lemon at a beer festival at a pub.
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