Eunoia
Nav Tools

--> Most recent Blog


Comments Policy
Impressum
Maths trivia
Search this site
RSS feed for Stu Savory's Blog RSS Feed
YouTube Videos

Site Meter


About
Stu Savory
Eunoia, who is a grumpy, overeducated, facetious, multilingual ex-pat Scot, blatantly opinionated, old (1944-vintage), amateur cryptologist, computer consultant, atheist, flying instructor, bulldog-lover, Beetle-driver, textbook-writer, long-distance biker, geocacher and blogger living in the foothills south of the northern German plains. Not too shy to reveal his true name or even whereabouts, he blogs his opinions, and humour and rants irregularly. Stubbornly he clings to his beliefs, e.g. that Faith does not give answers, it only prevents you doing any goddamn questioning. You are as atheist as he is. When you understand why you don't believe in all the other gods, you will know why he does not believe in yours :-) Oh, and he also has a neat English Bulldog bitch 'Frieda'.

And her big son 'Kosmo'.


Geocaching Stats


Some of my bikes


My Crypto Pages


My Maths Pages

Nota bene : Cuius rei demonstrationem mirabelem sane detexi hanc marginis exiguitas non caparet.



Friday, July 29, 2011

US budget crisis alternatives ;-)

Comments (3) :
Uwe (D) points out that "Each US soldier costs about $120,000 annually. And the number of veterans wanting support for the rest of their lives is increasing too. 40% of US government expenditures goes directly and indirectly into paying for the military. And (therefore?) nobody likes the USA any more. If they need to cut costs, Pareto says that would be the place to start!" Yessir!
Jon (NY, USA), quoting Wikipedia, points out that "The 14th amendment (to the Constitution) Section 4 confirms the legitimacy of all United States public debt appropriated by the Congress... The Supreme Court ruled (in 1935) that under Section 4 voiding a United States government bond "went beyond the congressional power." Legal analyst Jeffrey Rosen has argued that Section 4 gives the president unilateral authority to raise or ignore the national debt ceiling, and that if challenged the Supreme Court would likely rule in favor of expanded executive power or dismiss the case altogether."
Shirl (Tennesee, USA) : "Either way, we have to deal with the shit :-(" We have to deal with your shit aka perennial overspending too, as it is likely that the dollar will be devalued, whereupon it may lose its status as a world currency. Oh well, you could always introduce the Drachma ;-(


Thursday, July 28, 2011

An old friend lost :-(

O ver 45 years ago Andy Clements (late of Bristol, UK) and I attended university together where we somehow managed to graduate with good honours degrees in physics. After I left the UK at the end of the sixties we lost sight of one another. But five years ago - thanks to the power of the internet - most of us who read physics 1962-1966 managed to find one another for a City U. reunion.

Andy Clements - ever the ebullient motivator - organised a splendid reunion weekend in Bristol (UK) and it seemed like only yesterday when we'd graduated and set off to change the world. It was fantastic how we could resume where we'd left off 40 years previously, albeit with a lot of catching up to do.

Andy slipped away peacefully after suffering a massive brain haemorrhage last Sunday morning. He is survived by his lovely wife Marilyn, and the children Sharon, Ian & Paul to all of whom my consolations go.

We are planning a further physicists' class reunion, this time in Oxford in september of this year, which John is organising. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the gang in Oxford and I know we will spend a moment of silence, remembering Andy. Obviously, the Grim Reaper is waiting for all of us, but it is especially sad when we lose one of the best first :-(

R.I.P Andy, we'll miss your good humour.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Right Royal Pun ;-)

At the end of last week a pod of pilot whales were stranded in the Kyle of Durness, having beached themselves there on a remote Sutherland (Scotland) beach. So the local newspaper photographer, his wife and grown-up daughter piled into their car and went to see if they could help float the whales again and incidentally get some good photos.

Having done so, with several of the other helpers asking for copies of the photos, they headed for the village store which had one of those machines which can print hard copies from the (removable) chip in the digicam. Arriving in the village square, there were no parking places left, so he parked the car under the 'No Waiting' sign and dashed into the store to make his hard copies, leaving the lasses in the car (to move it if necessary).

However, the local polisman (that's how they spell policeman in Scotland) saw this and approached the lasses in the car, saying "Hello, hello, hello...." (why do UK cops all say that? Did their parents watch too much Dixon of Dock Green on the TV?), adding sarcastically "...and who do we have here, the Ladies in Waiting?" Quick as a flash, the photographer's wife replied "Yes, we're just waiting for the prints of whales" ;-)

Comments (5) :
Jenny (Ibiza) asked "That would have been his GROAN daughter?" Yup :-)
Pergelator (USA) lolled "Har de har har!" That lol sounds pirated! ;-)
Kate (UK) replied in kind "I send my photos online to a printing service which sends the enlargements back in the post, often over a week later. Currently I'm still humming 'Someday, my prints will come' ;-)" And GROAN to you too!
Piet (NL) opines "Good one!" Thanks, Piet.
Ina (D) wrote "Hallo Stu, Dein Beitrag zum Prints of Whales .. hat mich an diesen Song erinnert! " Beautiful voice! I've long been a Joan Baez fan, Ina :-)


Monday, July 25, 2011

No Hybrids forseen?

The photo here shows my wife's grandfather's (German) driving licence.

He was born in 1883 and the licence was issued in 1922, making him 39 years old before he got a driving licence. Compare that with nowadays; I wonder what the age range amongst Four Dinner's driving school pupils is?

But the line that interest me was the one that subdivides the licence according to the types of engines used :-

  • Electric motors
  • Combustion engines
  • Steam engines
  • other motors
SWMBO's grandad was only licenced to drive combustion engines (this probably implies internal combustion only, but it doesn't say so. I also wonder what "other motors" are, as the jet engine hadn't been invented yet. Mind you, Opel was to build a rocket powered car for drag- and speed record attempts. The Opel RAK.1 rocket car had achieved 75 km/h (47 mph) on March 15, 1928 and the Opel RAK.2 rocket car reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) on May 23, 1928; so maybe this is what "other motors" are :-)

Several years ago I had the opportunity to drive a steam-powered car. Like electric DC engines, they have maximal torque at zero revs, so this old 1920's steamer would blast off everything else at the lights, much to the surprise of modern car drivers :-) No gears needed, like an electric car one gear suffices (plus reverse of course). The steam car only had one (forward?) gear; reversing was done by feeding the steam to the other side of the piston via a valve ! On the same day I got to drive a 1935(?) FWD Riley; worth a mention because the gas pedal was in the centre and the brake on the right (it was RHD too and had a huge handbrake on the outside! You had to be wide awake to drive that; the steam car was much easier :-)

Comments (4) :
Cop Car (USA) wrote "Hi, Stu-- Of course, Germany led the world in automotive engineering. In 1922, Kansas USA (where I now reside) had not yet instituted licensing of automobile operators - whatever the motive power. Licensing was to come in the early 1930s." The main difference for me as a UK-expat is that in Germany, everything is forbidden unless expressly allowed. Whereas in the UK, everything is allowed unless expressly forbidden ;-)
Jenny (Ibiza) asks "What's the gas pedal called then in an electric car, or in a steam car? Gotcha!" 'Gas Pedal' is indeed an Americanism, which - to my eternal blame - I used. It is properly called the throttle.
Driving Instructor 4D replies "Most of my students are 17 - early 20's. Occasionally mid to late 20's. My oldest student is 63!...."
Janet (UK) points us to the QI video about the 1st driving licence on YouTube.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Norwegian Terrorism :-(

Y esterday, a Norwegian terrorist went on a killing spree, shooting 80 people dead on Utoya Island (a holiday island) :-(

The terrorist - Anders Behring Breivik - is a white man, Christian, right-wing, gun-nut, islamophobe. You know, sort of like most of the Tea Party :-(

Black humour aside, my deepest sympathy goes to all the relatives of the dead and injured from these cowardly attacks.

Comments (3) :
Kees Kennis (ZA) chides me "Why on earth did you not blame Sarah palin, you is so stoopid" I doubt whether said half-term quitter knows where Norway is, as she cannot see it from either of her houses ;-)
Dave (USA) quips "Disregard anything the CIA, Reps etc claim : he does NOT look like, NOR is he related to, Julian Assange! ;-)" Subtle sarcasm, I like that in a person :-)
Four Dinners wrote at length, I quote but two lines " As for Norway...well...words fail me as they must fail everyone. All those children. It makes me weep - as it really did when the news broke. Younger than my own baby. There could be families who've lost 2 or 3 children. There are really no words. Even the Norwegian 'Right Wing' have publically stated 'We're all young Socialists now'..."


Friday, July 22, 2011

Four Colour Theorem anecdote :-)

Way back in secondary school, maths te;-)acher Jeb tasked us to draw a map that needed more than four colours; adjacent areas that met on a line had to have different colours, areas that met on a point did not. My sketch in the left shows the idea.

Draw a central circle and colour it yellow. Draw an annular ring around it, subdividing it into three areas. The ring section on the left must be not-yellow because it borders on the yellow area, so colour it red. The ring section on the bottom must be not-yellow and not-red because it borders on both of them, so colour it green. The third section may not be yellow, red or green because it borders on all three, so colour it blue. Four colours suffice so far. Now what colour should the next (gray) area be ? Do we need a fifth colour? Pink? No, it can be yellow too, because it does not border on the first yellow area. The Four Colour Theorem says that four colours suffice, which was what Jeb was teaching us.

However, being a precocious child (a polite term for pain-in-the-neck), I'd noticed that Jeb had tasked us to draw a map but had omitted the condition that it was to be a plane map. So I carefully tore a narrow strip off my sheet of paper and twisted the strip by a half-turn, glueing the ends together, getting a Möbius strip. And why is this important? I knew that a Möbius strip needs SIX colours for a map; greatly to Jeb's discomfort ;-)

Although it is fairly easy to prove that five colours suffice for a plane map (Heawood did this in 1890), it is effably harder to prove that four colours suffice. Finally this was achieved by Appel and Haken in 1976, with much computer assistance. Independent proofs in 1997 and 2005 disposed of any lingering doubt in the computerised part of the first proof.

If you want your (american) kids to try colouring a plane map, here's a blank map of the USA, and for Yurpean kids a blank map of Europe. For historical reasons, they should start by colouring Holland orange ;-) For a geography lesson, get the kids to name the countries on the blank European map too :-)

Comments (3) :
Hildegard (D) points out that "Donuts need SEVEN colors" True. But what about a teapot? Doesn't have to belong to Bertrand Russell ;-)
Mary Ann (USA) quibbles "We spell it 'color', not colour" Yes, well, that's the USA being non-U again, I suppose ;-)
Piet (NL) chides me "With a slight change, you could have used the Chrome logo" Missed advertising opportunity ;-)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

42 & no longer counting :-(

42 years ago today - 21st July 1969, 03.56 Central European Time - America put a man (well, two men) on the moon.

And so it is only fitting - but ineffably sad - that the USA chose this day to give up their manned space flights altogether.

Mission Control just gave the space shuttle "go" for the last deorbit burn. The shuttle's two Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) engines will fire at 4:49:04 a.m. EDT for three minutes, 16 seconds and slow Atlantis by 331 feet per second. Landing is expected at 5:56:58 a.m. at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, runway 15, NASA blogged.

Wernher von Braun is turning in his grave :-(


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On going deaf...

BbrrrrrrrrrrrmmmMMMMMmmmm. WhirrrrrrRRRRRrrr. Click. WhooOOOOOoo. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Pain. "Mumble, mumble, mumble..." Llllllllllllike I've beeeeeen avooooooooooiding using the phoooooooooone reeeeeeeeeecently (except forrrrrrrrrrr SMSssssssssssssss), so I couldn't call the doc.

Finally I gave in and visited my local doc. "Mumble, mumble", the doc said, peering in my ear. He scraped out a chunk of earwax only to find an ear infection, so I'm on antibiotic/antiseptic/antifungal eardrops right now.

Tones above 1 kHz seem to have gone. This body is degrading much faster than I had hoped; negative karma? Not just the cookie that's crumbling :-(

Deafness is a pain in the ..... head. Where's the problem?

"Here, here" Yes, that would nice :-(

Comments (5) :
Doug Alder (Canada) wrote "It's all those years of riding bloody LOUD BIKES man :) Mine is starting to diminish a bit as well - still in the 80percentile or so for my age but it's the Tinnitus that is really driving me to drink. Hope your hearing improves a bit after the infection is cleared up."
Jenny (Ibiza) quipped "...Like 4D, you're putting deaf on the roads?" Dilligaf?
Bryn (Wales) tells me "Mumbles : is a village near Swansea, on the south coast of Wales" Yup, Liz mentions it in her/Harvey's blog at times :-)
Moses USA whispered a short sarcastic comment "My current audio-book when jogging : Silent Running ;-)" WHAT DID YOU SAY?
Doug Alder (Canada) wrote again at the end of July that Motorcycle helmets are hard on hearing. The wife and I have full face helmets with soft silencing baffles in the area under the chin (Schubert C2 helmets).


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Food Porn Anecdote ;-)

Must have been a decade or more ago when I first encountered the term "Food Porn" and have misunderstood it ever since. But recently I followed a link to Wikipedia and was surprised by the definition given there : "Food porn is a provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating in advertisements, infomercials, cooking shows or other visual media, foods boasting a high fat and calorie content, exotic dishes that arouse a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex. It specifically refers to food photography and styling that presents food glamorously or provocatively, as in glamour photography or pornographic photography."

My naive misunderstanding was that it about the gory details of 'romantic dinners' as glossed over in ladies' trashy pulp romantic fiction of the sort on sale at airports etc. These paperbacks never tell you what the diners were eating that got them so turned on :-( So here's one of my anecdotes in this misunderstood style.

Back in my postgrad days in London (UK) I once dated a couple of bi-sexual girls, an afro-american lady and her good friend a very pinkish pale blond french girl. We went out - ostensibly for dinner - to what the french blonde jokingly called a Mange a trois ;-)
For starters, the afro-american girl went straight for a corn-dog, whereas the french lass and I preferred the oysters. Main coarse(sic!) was steaks, one well-done and two rare (more commonly known as two in the pink and one in the brown). And as usual we finished off with great cream pies ;-)

Didn't turn out as well as I'd expected, both girls claimed they preferred colored men to plain whites ;-)

See what I mean? Genuine misunderstanding; a mistake anyone could have maid(sic!), especially those of you pervs who clicked on the misleadingly unerotic hot links ;-)

Comments (1) :
Anne (UK) protests "That food is a bit off-taste perhaps, especially next to an article written for children :-(" Only if you clicked the links & that was your decision ;-)


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Crypto Grille for kids :-)

T oday - at Pierre's request - I'm showing you a very easy (but insecure) crypto method called the Turning Grille. It originated from Cardano around 1550. Also called Fleissner Grilles, they were adopted by the German army during World War I, but were withdrawn after only 4 months as their security was terribly weak. Also, Jules Verne used a turning grille as a plot device in his novel Mathias Sandorf, published in 1885; go read it!

This is a 6 by 6 turning grille like the German's WW1 Berta grille.

Print out the grille shown on the top left here, scaling it larger if you like. Punch the nine holes EXACTLY in the positions shown. Place the grille centrally on a sheet of paper, then run a pencil around the grille edge showing where it is positioned. Now write the first 9 letters of the plaintext of your message - left to right, top to bottom, as usual - onto the paper through the holes you punched. Then turn the grille clockwise by 90°, giving you the pattern shown at the top right above. Make sure it fits exactly in your pencilled square. Write the next 9 letters of the plaintext of your message - left to right, top to bottom, as usual - onto the paper through the holes you punched. Then turn the grille clockwise by 90° again, giving you the pattern shown at the bottom left above. Write the next 9 letters of the plaintext of your message - left to right, top to bottom, as usual - onto the paper through the holes you punched. Then turn the grille clockwise by 90° again, giving you the pattern shown at the bottom right above. Write the next 9 letters of the plaintext of your message - left to right, top to bottom, as usual - onto the paper through the holes you punched. If your message is longer than 36 letters you should just repeat the steps described above. If your message is shorter than (a multiple of) 36 letters fill in the blank holes with an unusual letter, say X or J or Q or any mixture thereof.

Now remove the grille and on the paper you have 36 letters of your message all scrambled up, giving you the cyphertext of your message. You now send this cyphertext (by SMS, eMail, post, carrier pidgeon etc) to the addressee. Then destroy your sheet of paper and hide your secret grille away safely.

Anyone intercepting the cyphertext message sees garbage. But the addressee has a copy of your grille, it is the key to your code (so they keep it well hidden too). The addressee outlines his grille onto a sheet of paper and subdivides it into 6 by 6 fields. He/she writes the cyphertext - left to right, top to bottom, as usual - into these 6 by 6 fields. Placing the grille in position 1 onto this cyphertext square, they can read out the first 9 letters of the plaintext through the holes. Rotating the grille by 90° gives them the next 9 letters, by 180° the following 9 letters and by 270° the final 9 letters. Any nonsense letters X,J,Q or whatever at the end of the message is just filler. The addressee notes the plaintext of your message, destroys the sheet paper with the coded square on it, and hides the grille away securely again.

The pattern of holes in the grille is the secret key, which is why it must be kept well hidden. If the enemy captures a grille, he can read ALL of your messages :-( That's the (or rather A) weak point of the grille system :-(

BTW, grilles can be applied to a fractionating cipher, such as a Delastelle Bifid or Four-Square, with a CONSIDERABLE increase in security against a pencil-and-paper WW1-era attack (but still susceptible to a theft of the grille of course). Try seriating the sheet of paper behind the grille to see what I mean.

Recommended classical textbook : Helen Fouché Gaines, "Cryptanalysis : A study of ciphers and their solutions", Dover Publications, NY, 1956 reprint.

Online resource : The Turning Grille Toolset by Matthias Schneider.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Finding NEMA

P rior to WW2 Germany sold Switzerland a number of commercial Enigma (K-model) 3-rotor cipher machines. Of course, the Swiss were sensible enough to rewire all the rotors to a different pattern (two sets in fact, one for training/peacetime use, and the other patterns for wartime use). Nevertheless the Swiss became aware (afaik in 1941) that their (neutral) diplomatic messages were being intercepted and read by both the Germans and the British. And so the university of Bern's maths dept set about designing a NEw MAchine through 1943.

The photo on the left shows one of the NEMAs from a production run of 640 machines which did not start until after WW2, 1947 to be precise. NEMA was declassified in 1992, and machines were offered for sale to the public in 1994. They cost only about 10% of the price of an historical Enigma nowadays and so are affordable for collectors like you and I.

NEMA uses 10 wheels, as you can see under the lid on the left, of which 4 are normal electrical rotors with 26 contacts at each end that are scramble wired in a way unique to each rotor type; one is an electrical reflector (like the Enigma's Umkehrwalze) with one set of 26 pairwise cross connected contacts; and the remaining five are "drive wheels" , with configurable mechanical cams that control the stepping of the rotors and the reflector. The wheels are assembled on an axle in pairs consisting of a drive wheel and an electrical rotor. The irregular motion of the drive wheels avoids one of the weaknesses of the Enigma 'rollover' design. The Swiss also realised that it is relatively straightforward for a cryptanalyst to strip off the over-encryption of the Enigma's plugboard and so there is no plugboard in the NEMA design, as you can see from the photo.

Contemporary rotor machines were the 5-rotor Typex in Britain dating from 1937, the Soviet Fialka (M-125) Cold War-era cipher machine, and the American SIGABA, an advanced design, indeed no successful cryptanalysis of the SIGABA during its service lifetime (into the 1950s) is publicly known.

Further online information about the NEMA is available from :-

If you are now interested in getting started in cryptography, there is a paper of mine in the West Point publication Cryptologia* showing an easy way of breaking a single rotor Hebern machine; use that as a starting point.

Comments (4) :
Pierre (B) asks "Can we have some simpler crypto for my 14-yr old niece please?" OK, I'll try to come up with something for kids, next week.
Jane (UK) complains "You hop about between easy everyday stuff and geeky hard stuff. Keep it simple, we're not all academics! And don't hop about so much." Quoting Blackadder : 'I am anaspeptic and frasmotic to have caused you such pericombobulations' ;-) As for hopping about : Mark Twain once wrote "Life does not consist mainly - or even largely - of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head." ...And believe me, it's like a hurricane inside MY head ;-)
Yvette (F) jokes "You missed Bastille Day! I was expecting something sharp from you. Lost your head maybe?" I was on the phone and got cut off ;-)
Charles Pergiel (USA) points out that "The US department of justice can force you to decrypt your laptop" Despite the 5th amendment? What's it worth?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scrap Metal Sculptures :-)

S ince I've been blogging about metalwork all week (from the Starfighter restoration to the model rapturous cathedral), let me also show you some of the full scale (1:1) life size scrap metal sculptures in the gardens of our local country pub, Frau Brandt's Gasthaus am Königsweg.

The following photos are a bit larger, so you can see more detail :-

Those were my personal top ten, my favourite being the fallen angel, which goes for 5,000 Euros. Smaller statues are available for around 500 Euros. The artist is Jürgen Linnemannstöns, his website is www.lilleart.de, worth a visit :-)

Methinks we need a bigger garden :-(

Comments (2) :
Four Dinners (UK) wrote "...As someone who generally hates any art less than 100 years old I can only say this is awes....NO...I will not speak 'American'!!!... .......it is absolutely incredible!!!" Just too dear for me, 4D.
Jenny (Ibiza) said "...still obsessed with naked wimmen huh? ;-)" Jenny dear, the Earth, without Art, is just Eh ;-)


Monday, July 11, 2011

Great PETling hurling prize :-)

As regular readers may know, one of my hobbies is Geocaching. A typical geocache may be a more or less well hidden PETling. On saturday we geocachers in the Paderborn area got together for a fun event, seeing how far we could hurl a PETling. One try only, no assistance.

Paderborn is designated a city only because it has a cathedral, otherwise it is a nondescript country town. The (Catholic) cathedral looks magnificent:

Now one of the geocachers in our little community - Sälzerkönig - is an expert with machine tools and made this neat model of the cathedral from a block of stainless steel as the first prize; a rapturous cathedral model :-)

The photo shows the winner - Pitchbulls - behind the model cathedral and his son clutching the challenge trophy, which after engraving, makes its way to another state (Bavaria afaik) for their PETling-hurling championship.

Now why do I refer to Sälzerkönig's model cathedral as a rapturous cathedral model? Well look closely at the photo. The top of the cathedral spire can be tipped over, whereupon the brown petling placed next to the cathedral entrance can be put into the hollow tower. Lowering the lever on the front of the tower tensions an internal rubber catapult. Pulling the trigger on the left side of the tower then hurls the brown petling high into the air. What a genial construction, thankyou Sälzerkönig !

If you were to tip the model over by 45° the model could even take part in the competition for which it was the main prize :-)

BTW, Pitchbull's winning throw was 38.97 meters. Me? I came in 26th with 21.77 meters, losing even to two of the ladies and two teenagers :-(

I could hurl ;-)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Project Phoenix :-)

T his blog-entry is for Ms. Earth-Bound Misfit, a fellow pilot, whom I chided last week about anhedral instability in her comments, quoting a F104 Starfighter as an example. She replied "...the odds of me ever flying one of those Luftwaffe Widowmakers is pretty nonexistent :-("

Well cheer up lass, 'cos there's a restoration project going in Würgassen :-

The US flew these as a 'high'-altitude interceptor, in which role they were fairly safe. Germany was pressured into buying them and flew them low-level, so much so that there was barely time to eject after a birdstrike and/or a flameout of their single J79 engine, whence their local nickname "Widowmaker".

Macabre humour here used to have it that the cheapest way to get your own Starfighter was to buy a small patch of land and just wait :-(

The second cheapest way is to buy a leftover as scrap from the Luftwaffe. Just make sure you don't get a gate guardian (there's a F-104 Starfighter gate guardian at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, if I remember correctly).

This one is in the yard at Würgassen (N 51.641800, E 9.401596), but it hasn't been there long enough to show up on Google Maps yet - Google needs to refresh its satellite pix more frequently! The stovepipe has been fixed and the leading edge of the tailfin is nearing completion as you can see from the gantry. The left wing has been stripped for repair too. I should explain that German war-armaments law requires the plane be stripped of its armaments before sale to civilians. So the 20 mm (.79 in) M61 Vulcan Gatling gun was removed pre-sale, so we'll need a counterweight to get the weight-and-balance back where it should be. The Starfighter had 7 hard points for external loads (2 wingtip tanks, a belly point for a nuclear bomb, and 4 wing pylons for bombs or AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles). These hard points were destroyed pre-sale too :-(

Looking at all the work still to be done on this bird, I'll be 75 by the time it's airworthy again. Hope I still have my licence by then; flying a Mach 2 interceptor as a private plane for display purposes is a yet-to-be-fulfilled dream. Of course we are all restricted to 250 knots* below 10,000 feet (so we can see/be seen by the VFR pilots) and are not allowed to go supersonic over land in Germany. Mind you, the combat range on the internal tanks is just 365 nautical miles, so it'd be out to sea, climb to service ceiling (a mere 50,000 feet) at a sea-level climb rate of 48,000 fpm, accelerate to 1154 knots (bang-bang) and scrape home before the tank runs dry :-(

Of course Ms. Earth-Bound Misfit will need a jet rating and a type clearance (it's a single-seater). Whatever you do, don't get this bird into a high angle of attack, lest it pitch up into an unrecoverable spin. Sure there's a stick shaker, even a stick pusher, but (dead) pilots have been known to overrride them :-( Be careful with this bird, it's not a toy! Example : a T2-reset on the (sole) J79 engine can cause engine failure on take off, which has happened several times after just parking the finicky bird in bright sunlight!

Comments (1) :
Brian (UK) tells me that "Jeremy Clarkson, TV presenter of Top Gear, has an EE Lightning interceptor as a lawn ornament! YouTube video here." I have fond memories of the Lightning, Brian, it was a better interceptor than the F104, faster, faster climb, to a higher altitude and with a better range. I blogged about it in Feb 2009.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Whence the Anacreontic Song? ;-)

July 4th redux : The Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence on July 2nd 1776 proposed in June 1776 by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia. Congress debated and revised the Declaration of Independence, finally approving it on July 4 some say, although it was not actually signed until August 2, 1776. France, Spain and the Dutch Republic all secretly provided supplies, ammunition and weapons to the revolutionaries starting early in 1776. So American Independence was only achieved by military help from the French; how gauling(sic!) that must be to the 'Merkins ;-)

The Treaties of Paris, by which Britain recognised the independence of the American states and returned Florida to Spain, were not signed by King George III and ratified until 1783. There is also evidence that George III suffered from further mental problems, recognising the independence of the American states being one of his first acts of madness ;-) As independents, the States needed a new national anthem, so Francis Scott Key stole the music of the Anacreontic Song from an Englishman(!) John Stafford Smith, adding his own lyrics ultimately to give The Star Spangled Banner.

Here are three Hendrix-style versions for your orgiastic ear'ole delectation :-)

These three are mere copies. I was fortunate enough to experience Jimi Hendrix live in the UK at London's Royal Albert Hall in February 1969, so I prefer his original WOW-guitar version, like this session :-

Comments (3) :
Mary (USA) confesses "... I had to look up 'Anacreontic' ; OMG!..." :evil grin:
Four Dinners (UK) wrote "Never got to see him old bean...sadly. I actually got layed to 'The Wind Cries Mary' when I was 15...." Anacreontic indeed :-)
Dave (USA) provides a music video link too..."Great music videos, but this one is more like real nowadays :-(" That's depressingly so, Dave :-(


23 Recent Writings
FWIW : 23 is the number of the Illuminati, folks ;-)
US budget crisis...
An old friend lost :-(
My Right Royal Pun ;-)
No hybrids forseen
Norwegian Terrorism :-(
Four Colour Theorem
42 & no longer counting
On going deaf :-(
Food Porn Anecdote ;-)
Crypto Grille for kids
Finding NEMA
Scrap metal sculptures
PETling hurling prize
Project Phoenix
The Anacreontic Song
Turning and turning...
Google = Urdu ?
Geology Quiz
Red Bull's Hit :-(
Ethical Dilemma Fail :-(
Teasing Americans ;-)
Blood Moon
LOTR Beemer :-)
Collatz conjecture proved!

Archive 2011:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun
Archive 2010:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archive 2009:
Jan Feb Mar Apr
May Jun Jul Aug
Sep Oct Nov Dec
Archives 2002-2008 offline to save server file-space.
Blogroll
Ain Bulldog Blog
Badtux...
Balloon Juice
Cocktail Party Physics
Cosmic Variance
Curmudgeonly...
Decrepit Old Fool
Demeur
Dilligaf II
Doug Alder
Dr Grumpy
Earth-Bound Misfit
En Tequila Es Verdad
Fail Blog
Finding life hard?
Greg Laden
HaggisChorizo
Inspector Gadget
Making Light
Monkey Muck
Mostly Cajun
Noded (JR)
Not Always Right
Observing Hermann
One Good Move
Pergelator
Pharyngula
Rants from t'Rookery
Stupid Evil Bastard
The Magistrate's Blog
Too many tribbles
Xtreme English
Yellowdog Grannie

Link Disclaimer
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 mich ihrem Inhalt nicht zu eigen.

This Blog's Status is
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 ;-)

Books I have written



Index/Home Impressum Sitemap Search site/www