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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wiki Wander

144 Tall Fiberglass Pyramid in Russia built by Dr. Alexander Golod.
I'm not a great believer in the mystical properties some people, like Dr. Golod, attribute to pyramids, but having a positive mental outlook can help one overcome all kinds of difficulties, and if a pyramid can help you with that, well, then, I'm all for it.

Palace Of Peace And Reconciliation. Astana, Kazakhstan  2004 - 2006.
Looking for more pictures of Russian pyramids turned up the Palace Of Peace And Reconciliation in Astana, Kazakhstan. It was designed by Sir Norman Foster. Okay, who's that? Wikipedia tells us that he is one of Britain's most prolific architects of his generation. He grew up in Manchester, England:
Manchester was 'one of the workshops of the world' and 'the embodiment of a great city'; his father, Robert, worked at Metropolitan-Vickers at Trafford Park [a suburb of Manchester] which fuelled Foster's interest in engineering and design.
Metropolitan-Vickers? Vickers I have heard of, big British industrial outfit, widely known for their machine gun, but this branch made their own name, not that I had ever heard of it:
Metropolitan-Vickers, Metrovick, or Metrovicks, was a British heavy electrical engineering company of the early-to-mid 20th century formerly known as British Westinghouse. Highly diversified, they were particularly well known for their industrial electrical equipment such as generators, steam turbines, switchgear, transformers, electronics and railway traction equipment. Metrovick holds a place in history as the builders of the first commercial transistor computer, the Metrovick 950, and the first British axial-flow jet engine, the Metrovick F.2. Their factory in Trafford Park, Manchester, was for most of the 20th century one of the biggest and most important heavy engineering facilities in Britain and the world. - Wikipedia.
I've heard of Eniac, the world's first computer, but it was built with vacuum tubes. Vacuum tubes are great devices, but when you are using mass quantities their reliability begins to make life difficult. Using one tube means you need to keep one spare on hand. Using a zillion means you need to keep a bunch of spares on hand and you need to a small of army of technicians whose sole job is to run up and down the aisles of the computer (it's big) and replace burned out vacuum tubes. So making a computer out of transistors was a huge step up. Metrovick built 6 of the things and used them in their business for several years. Couldn't find
any pictures.
    A little farther on in the same article, I came across this:
On 15 November 1922 the BBC was registered and the BBC's Manchester station, 2ZY, was officially opened on 375 meters transmitting from the Metropolitan Vickers Electricity works in Old Trafford.
375 meters? What's that in Hertz? 800K. That put's it in the commercial AM broadcast band, meaning you can pick it up with your car radio.  800KHz is a "Clear Channel" frequency, which is whole 'nuther can of worms.
    I'm going to stop now as my wife is telling me I have chores to do.

Sharon got me started by sending me a link to an article about Dr. Golod.
Title from Tam.

3 comments:

sharon sedeen said...

you need to go to one of those "centers" , CLONE YOURSELF, and have THAT one do our chores- see, easy!
Then you can do all the blogging you want. (Got this idea after wearing my pyramid hat- can make one for you or your clone, if you like.: )}

Ole Phat Stu said...

They're not pyramids; they're grain silos ;-)

Chuck Pergiel said...

Sharon: Keeping track of one of me is quite enough, thank you. Besides, it would probably cost money to be cloned, and I have other priorities, like beer. And gasoline. And cheeseburgers. Mmmm,cheeseburgers.

Stu: Shhh! That's a secret. You're not supposed to tell anybody. I'm going to have to report you to the tribunal. They probably will take your junior acolyte merit badge away.