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And her big son 'Kosmo'.
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Friday, August 28, 2015
Oldtimer Outingt the weekend, SWMBO and I went to partake in an oldtimer tour, a gentle ride through the countryside, visiting old car museums etc. These are some of the participating old cars, all immaculately restored.
Opel cabrio 1949
Kharmann ghia 1961
BMW type 2002
Fiat type 125
Fiat 500, with optional suitcase (=trunk)
Mercedes cabrio 1965
Opel Kadett 1952
Last and least, the youngest participant, my Porsche 944
I must confess we quit half way through, because the cavalcade had the speed of a fat old snail, necessarily of the slowest car. Frustrating! So we went home and took the dogs for a fast walk :-)
Friday, August 21, 2015
Anagramming Ashley Madison ;-)shley Madison is a website for adulterers. Their database was hacked recently and a 10 GB searchable list of names and email addresses dumped online by the hackers. How are the mighty fallen; some of those conservative 'family values' politicians etc are crapping themselves ;-)
Just to put a lighter touch(sic!) on it, I looked for some of the theme related ('appropriate'?) anagrams I could make from "Ashley Madison". See if you also find them amusing :-)
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Under the radar :-(ne of the characteristics of (old) sports cars is that they are road-huggingly LOW, especially when compared with the tall SUVs that seem to be in fashion these days (even if they are never driven off-road). My old Porsche 944 comes up to just over my hips :-)
You'd think this lowness would be an advantage when cornering; that's not true in the late (pre-harvest) summer though :-( Blasting along the country lanes around here is limited by the fact that at times I'm below the wheat crop! So in these summer months I can't see "through" the corners :-( And similarly, anyone driving in the other direction can't see me coming either and consequently - as they are often hogging the crown of the road - almost crap themselves when the Porsche thunders into view ;-)
Of course, everyone knows this effect when driving past fields of tall maize, they just don't expect it when driving past wheatfields. I know what to expect, but other drivers generally don't :-( So I've taken to driving more slowly, at least until after the harvest.
On the other hand, when driving it down the autobahn, I see that people still remember Porsche's overtaking reputation. They see the outlines of this old sports car in their mirrors and move over into the slow lane really smartish! When I'm driving my modern Beetle - perhaps even faster than the Porsche - they don't move over, because it doesn't have the same overtaking-prestige as the ancient Porsche :-(
My old schoolfriend Carl used to have a Lotus Super Seven; a ladyfriend Carol had an old (underpowered) Austin Healey Sprite Mk 1. Both were so low that I suspect they'd even be below the stubble left after harvesting ;-)
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Summer Drought :-(he summer here has been very hot (reaching a record 40.3°C in the shade in Kitzingen, that's 104.5°F, more than blood heat) over a period of several weeks. So the water level in rivers, lakes and reservoirs is at a very low level due to evaporation. But Lake Eder is a special case, because it is dammed and used to regulate the water depth of the river Weser, to keep it navigable (river Eder feeds ultimately into the Weser river). So this means the water level in Lake Eder sinks even faster than due to evaporation alone. Our local newspaper reports that it has sunk so low that a sunken flooded village on the lake bed has now emerged again and that the old bridge (from before the lake was dammed) has now reappeared above the mud-flats of the lake bed. So I rode my trusty motorcycle down to Asel Ferry to see if the ferry (which replaced the sunken bridge) was still running.
It wasn't. A hastily printed notice said the ferry was cancelled due to low water. The lake level has dropped some 30 to 40 feet, I'd guess. Those mud flats you see to the right of the notice board are the lake bed! There's just a couple of shallow feeder streams showing.
The background of this selfie shows the path the ferry normally takes. People are walking over the lake bed along the old road (less mud!) and across the old sunken bridge. Being too lazy to walk across the lake in that heat in my motorcycle leathers, I just set the camera to max (30x) zoom and took this photo of all the tourists enjoying the rare(?) opportunity of crossing a sunken bridge normally 30+ feet below the surface :-)
This was such an attraction (last sunday) that there was barely parking room for a motorcycle! Park wardens kept motorists from trying to drive across the mud-flats (some people are really stupid!).
Let's hope we get some rain here this fall/autumn so the lake gets a chance to refill; preferably while I'm away on a long-distance bike trip ;-)
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Angry Birds 2 competitionot the game, just a set of photos I took last month for the birdspotters among you (Hi,CC) to help identify.
I took these photos at a birds-of-prey sanctuary in the Eifel without taking notes of their names. And I'm no horny theologist ;-) So I'm relying on you bird-spotters to name them for me :-)
Sunday, August 9, 2015
The Silverplated Bockscaryears ago today, at 11:02 a.m. local time in Nagasaki, a B-29 Superfortress named "Bockscar" dropped an atomic bomb "Fat Man", killing about 39,000 to 80,000 people.
Most (older) people will have heard of the Enola Gay, as mentioned in my previous post. Fewer know anything about Bockscar, the Nagasaki atomic bomber.
Captain Frederick C. Bock was the pilot assigned to this aircraft and named it on the production line as a personalised joke. However, on the Nagasaki mission it was flown by Major Charles W. Sweeney who had flown it for the three dress rehearsals with an inert Fat Man casing.
"Fat Man" was named after Winston Churchill and was a spherical-implosion bomb design, whence its shape. The original intent was to use the "Thin Man" (named after Roosevelt) gun-barrel design at Hiroshima, but these were too long to fit in the aircraft, so at Hiroshima the "Little Boy", a shorter gun-barrel uranium design, was used.
The B-29s were unsuited for carrying nuclear weapons. Massive modifications were needed to make a bomb bay big enough for both types of nuclear weapons, a process known as silver-plating (for security reasons). Of course they could have used the British "Lancaster" bomber which was big enough to carry even 10 ton "Tall Boy" conventional bombs anyway. American pride forbade this easy solution and so the expensive and delaying "silverplating" was done to several B-29s. The US military regarded this procedure as so successful that they've been gold-plating all their new weapon designs ever since, to the great delight of the military-industrial complex ;-)
The original target (Kokura) had 100% cloud cover, so Bockscar diverted to the secondary target, Nagasaki. Dense cloud covered the downtown area, but a cloud opening let them drop it between the Mitsubishi Steel and Arms Works and the Mitsubishi-Urakami Ordnance Works in a side valley. Yield was 21 kilotons (50% more than the Hiroshima yield).
Fuel pump problems meant that Bockscar ran out of fuel just as it landed after its return trip. Captain James F. Van Pelt, Jr. was the navigator under these difficult target-weather and fuel-shortage conditions, to give credit where due.
Bockscar is now on permanent display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio together with an inert Fat Man casing. However, I noticed that Bockscar does not have its Nagasaki paint scheme (which had a large N (for Nuclear) on its tailfin) and no nose-art at the time.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Enola Gay triviayears ago today, at 8:15 local time in Hiroshima, a B-29 Superfortress named "Enola Gay" dropped an atomic bomb "Little Boy", killing 66,000 people. A bird of ill omen indeed!
The Vatican did not complain about this nuclear killing of 66,000 people, nor - rather surprisingly - even about the misuse of a Little Boy, instead singing the "You Angel" hymn ;-)
The bomber Enola Gay was named on the assembly line by its pilot-to-be, Paul Tibbets who named it after his mother Enola Gay Tibbets, who had herself been named for the heroine of an 1886 melodramatic novel by Mary Young Ridenbaugh (not recommendable 'literature' imho). The book contains the (perhaps predictive?) lines "He is the bird of ill omen. How harsh his midnight cry! It seems to shriek, in mournful sounds, Death! Death!"
The more perceptive among you will already have realised that "Enola" is a reversal/anagram of "Alone", a typical 1880's writer's give-away naming trick.
35 years on, in 1980, British synthpop group Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) released a mediocre anti-war song single called Enola Gay. When released as a single, "Enola Gay", was misperceived by listeners with little knowledge of the Hiroshima bombing as a cryptic identification of the band as homosexual. The track was banned from being played on popular BBC1 programme Swap Shop for fear that it would serve as a corrupting sexual influence on children. Such is the power of homophobes, who even suggested it be retitled "Enola Guy" (with a U instead of an A) to show it was "really rather hetero and not homo at all" :-(
As a fan of anagrams, I can only approve of such a renaming. After all, "Enola Guy" anagrams rather appropriately into "You Angel", explaining the reference to the Vatican hymn above and the Angel of Death poem in Ridenbaugh's novel, neatly closing all referential loops in this blogpost ;-)
Ashley Madison ;-)
Under the radar :-(
Summer Drought :-(
Angry Birds 2 competition
The Silverplated Bockscar
Enola Gay trivia
An upside-down house
Black holes suck...
Village tractor meet
Uranus is strange ;-)
Pilgrimage to Göttingen
Silver Wedding :-)
Ain Bulldog Blog
Finding life hard?
Not Always Right
Rants from t'Rookery
Spork in the drawer
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Sep Oct Nov Dec
This blog is getting really unmanagable, so I've taken the first 12 years' archives offline. My blog, my random decision. Tough shit; YOLO.
ENGLISH : I am not responsible for the contents or form of any external page to which this website links. I specifically do not adopt their content, nor do I make it mine.
DEUTSCH : Für alle Seiten, die auf dieser Website verlinkt sind, möchte ich betonen, dass ich keinerlei Einfluss auf deren Gestaltung und Inhalte habe. Deshalb distanziere ich mich ausdrücklich von allen Inhalten aller gelinkten Seiten und mache mir ihren Inhalt nicht zu eigen.
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Blog Dewey Decimal Classification : 153
FWIW, 153 is a triangular number, meaning that you can arrange 153 items into an equilateral triangle (with 17 items on a side). It is also one of the six known truncated triangular numbers, because 1 and 15 are triangular numbers as well. It is a hexagonal number, meaning that you can distribute 153 points evenly at the corners and along the sides of a hexagon. It is the smallest 3-narcissistic number. This means it’s the sum of the cubes of its digits. It is the sum of the first five positive factorials. Yup, this is a 153-type blog. QED ;-)
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