Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Pergelator

Silicon Forest

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Earl Scruggs


Foggy Mountain Breakdown - Earl Scruggs

Fine tune, played by a whole battalion of banjo pickers.

Skinny

Super Skinny Skyscrapers, Manhattan
The Guardian has the story. You get a nice view, but I imagine there's going to be a wait for the elevator. But maybe you don't go out. We have electronic communications and delivery services are ubiquitous, so you could just stay home and gaze out the window all day long. I remember hearing (some years ago) that some tall buildings had a problem with swaying in high winds. They dealt with the problem by adding a computer controlled, multi-ton counterweight near the top. I wonder how they are dealing with it now. Maybe swaying in high winds is now a feature.

Via Brian Micklethwait

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Battleship Richelieu

Battleship Richelieu arriving in New York City, February 1943
Note missing gun barrel on second turret.
Battleships are kind of weird-cool. Big, impressive, zillions of tons of steel and armor, giant steam turbine engines driving them through the seas at break-neck speeds, they were the apex of the development of gun based warships. Now they are museum pieces, if they haven't been broken up for scrap.

This one caught my eye because, hey! Battleship! But then I see the name and I realize I know almost nothing about French battleships. I know about American (Missouri, Iowa, Arizona, etc.), British (Hood, um, mumble, mumble) and German (Bismarck, Graf Spee), but nothing about the French version, so I go a Googling.

The Richelieu's history is a little checkered. She left France in 1940 to avoid being captured by the Germans and sailed to Dakar on the West Coast of Africa. But then France fell, the Vichy government came to be and Dakar and the Richelieu came under Vichy / German control.

Dakar, looking West
The Allies mounted Operation Menace in an attempt to liberate Dakar. The Allied attack failed, but the Richelieu suffered considerable damage, some of it from strikes by Allied weapons, but one big injury was self inflicted:
On 24 September [1940], when Richelieu opened fire against British battleships with her 380 mm (15.0 in) guns, she suffered severe damage to three barrels of her No. 2 turret, due to premature explosion of the shells. This was first traced to the use of the propellant (SD19 powder) from Strasbourg powder charges reconditioned at Dakar. However, during 1941, an inquiry commission, whose chairman was Admiral de Penfentenyo de Kervéréguen, concluded that a premature explosion of the shells was the result of a flaw in the design of the shell base. - Wikipedia
Reminds me of a story from Stephenson's Baroque Cycle Trilogy. Some miscreants working in a lab grind up a bunch of gunpowder very fine and then contrive to insert it into the powder magazine of one of the Royal Navy's warships. The warship goes to war and starts firing its guns. Eventually one of the guns is charged with the finely ground gunpower, and since this powder explodes with more force (or more rapidly) than the regular powder, it bursts the gun killing and injuring several people. I think the whole point was to cast doubt on the quality of the guns. I am pretty sure of this story, but I can't find anything about it.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Civilian Combat Tactics

At this point, most everyone in this culture would say, “That’s crazy! I’m not doing that! I’d just get shot!” - Ann Barnhardt
Most thought provoking post I've seen about dealing with miscreants.

Fascism by Ayelet Shaked


Ayelet Shaked - Fascism (click CC for subtitles)

When I first saw this (without the translation), I thought it might really be an ad for perfume, which made me wonder just how tone deaf the manufacturer must be. Then I read a bit. Seem Ayelet (eyelet?), a member of the Israeli parliament, has gotten tired of being branded as a fascist by the left, so she is striking back. Naturally, it has caused a firestorm in Israel (or a tempest in a teapot from my vantage point), but I have to give her credit for sticking her neck out. Here's hoping she doesn't get the ax.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Politics

Congress really should be able to pass a broad bill that fixes this problem, the childhood arrivals problem, border security, and employer verification. The divisions of opinion on these issues are not insurmountable. Compromise is possible if people are reasonable. Will it happen in the current Congress? Very doubtful. Too many people in influential positions are more interested in having an issue for the next election than they are in solving problems. - Kent Scheidegger

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Another Old Radio

Old Radio
We're watching Disappearance (known as Ekhtefa in Egypt, on Netflix) and this old radio pops up on the screen (Episode 11, 33 minute mark). It reminds me of this old radio. Knobs left and right, multiband, and a set of push buttons. The scene is set around 1970, so it's old-ish.