Martin

Martin

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    It's not just the structural "did you survive" aspect of safety design. I may be biased, my father crash-tested a Volvo 360GLT in the mid-80s by decelerating from 45 to zero in the space of the bonnet (he hit a...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    ...see also Eric Laithwaite, Professor of Heavy Electrical Engineering at Imperial College, London - and given the Tesla Award by the IEEE....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Mind you, in the field of youthful protest it does seem to me that we are woefully lacking in protest songs these days. They disappeared like turning off a light switch... Strongly disagree - it's just that it changed. Try...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    My current car (Volvo V40) has this, and it’s great. It “just works” - the second I dip the clutch (to get into gear before releasing the handbrake to pull away), the engine starts. Every time....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    At the luxury end of the scale, perhaps. But Volvo fit good seats as standard, not premium. If you drive a Volvo then get into a Ford, or Nissan, or Vauxhall, you find yourself wondering how you’re going to adjust...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Hybrids were a bet that batteries would not get good enough. Batteries are good enough, thus, technological dodo Nope. Not a Dodo, and not all about batteries. Hybrids are a hundred years old, and remain a solution to the problem...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    No, SpaceX is going to the moon later this year / next year. At a price point that allows a multimillionaire to buy a ticket (any bets it’s James Cameron?). So, Apollo 8 as a minimum, but without the billion-dollar...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The thing is, we don't actually know how air battles between equivalent air forces would occur in the modern era? The air forces do, pretty much - see Exercises RED FLAG and what used to be COPE THUNDER. Here's an...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I apologise for being the weapons nerd, but we’re into 500-post-apocrypha here.... Our Medium MG platoon was commanded by my best man (I was in the Battalion hide-and-seek team ;) ). They didn’t do much of what they called “map...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Others have mentioned that 0.50 is generally regarded as inaccurate for long-range sniping (favoured rounds are .300 Win-Mag and .338 Lapua Magnum). However... Pointing accuracy is an issue - Olympic-level target shooters will hold a group size that translates to...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    PGMs are rather expensive pieces of kit, and specialised. You also have to fire them in more-or-less the right direction, because there are limits to their manoeuvrability. It’s also got a limited payload for anything man packed (81mm), and so...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    And the GOP, almost without exception, have never actually served, so they're hot to start wars Even as a foreigner, I thought to check that... noting that you haven't qualified it by time (you've just referred to WW2 with the...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The alternative is to arrange things so that having property, money or an old school tie isn't an advantage. I fully agree (as a state-educated lad whose old school only has ~250 children at any time). The secondary problem isn't...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Estate taxes... No natural-law argument against them that holds water The argument that exercises my father-in-law is "why should I be taxed twice over?". His perspective is that he's already paid full taxes on the money he earned, and it's...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    ... I didn't introduce tank production as evidence ... you did. :) True... but that was in response to icehawk's assertion that the USSR had "fairly limited support from the west" in WW2 for its industrial growth :) Before the...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    An "IIRC" apocryphal story from when we lived in Bulgaria, in the 1970s (Dad got posted to the British Embassy for a nearly three years). The Commercial side of the Embassy were looking at the efficiencies of the planning system,...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The paper is interesting, and makes intuitive sense; out of curiosity, why did you exclude the People's Republic of China? I wondered if it might have made an interesting comparison with the Republic of China. ...the paper appears to assume...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    ...only that in aggregate the bulk of the Soviet industrial war effort was based on Soviet resources. While we're agreeing to disagree, I'm curious as to how you're qualifying the above in the light of "Allied shipments are nearly 51%...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The first statement is indeed correct, if by "fairly limited" you mean "relative to total Soviet military and industrial production" ... "fairly limited" is not unreasonable. Consider that for obvious reasons, the USSR wanted to maximise its own contribution and...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The Soviets achieved huge economic gains with fairly limited support from the West both before WW2 and in WW2. Not correct. You might want to check out how many trucks, tanks, and aircraft were shipped to them in WW2; and...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I reiterate my point - you're from an era with a more... carefree... attitude to what constituted PE, or PE teachers. For example; in the late 1970s, my school still ran a Primary School boxing competition. On the rugby pitch,...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    We appreciate that you were scarred by your childhood experiences, Greg, but you've got a fairly binary attitude to Physical Education; things have moved on since the 1950s :) I went to a school that where (presumably, like yours) boys...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Regarding US universities and their sports programs... it’s not all running, jumping, swimming, and hand-egg. A former team-mate now coaches the Target Rifle program at West Virginia University, having done a Sports Science degree there in the 00s. They’re rather...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    No - the Lib Dems are both Unionist, and opposed Brexit... and still support both positions (but will accept BINO*) * Brexit In Name Only......
  • Commented on The crazy years
    ...they remain the first choice of the people who actually live in Scotland... They may be the largest choice; but are certainly not the majority choice, as your figures show. I'm in the ( :) I think logically consistent, YMMV...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    I understand that some species of management twat is buzzwording at me Then you might well be wrong. The whole “80% now, not 100% but later” is to do with planning when you’ve got limited timescales. The most extreme demonstration...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    I was taking the city bus to school in grade 5 too. Two buses with a transfer (very indirect route). The difference between Primary (until 11/12 years old) and Secondary (12/13 onward) at our Ministry of Defence-run boarding school, was...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    Your reduction to “active v passive” has a problem, in that you’re situationally biased- you appear to have settled on Voice telephony is over 100 years old, so it must be passive as the natural order of things. Except... it...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    Another is British Army training areas. Some stories... - The OBUA village in the Thetford training area; as we were investigating the facility for the next week’s training, the Sergeant-Major who ran it was just heading off to brief a...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    Supporting evidence: army recruitment in the UK that until recently started at 15 Nope... not unless you define "recently" as "over forty years" (note that the Met Police have their own Cadet Force; check out the starting age) The British...
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