Damian

Damian

  • Commented on All Glory to the New Management!
    I pre-ordered several weeks ago, when Amazon started getting serious about telling me about it. Looking forward to reading. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywCH3HN2S7E...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I agree this is a promising line of enquiry. To answer the last question first, Eric Flint's Belisarius series is set in a Byzantine rather than Hellenistic Greece, but otherwise there are some overlaps. Something I forgot earlier, and which...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    HMS Victory's size, shape, structure and sailing characteristics were defined by the guns she carried Yep, that was sort of my point (though I admit I got carried away with the scenario a bit). The ability to stand a big...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I'd like to see the "rumour" that Trump has really bad body odour gain more traction. It really doesn't matter if it's true or not, it's more getting enough of a spread that it comes to his attention. Because the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    So there's another interesting question that follows on from the Roman windjammer pathway. Could the Romans build the Suez Canal? And let's go in for a pound, so we're definitely talking about ephedra-tea-sipping Romans who talk to their Lares and...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    the count of ballots returned well before the election gets announced as soon as the polls close That's reassuring to know. It isn't what we do here, though I have aways thought we could and it would save time and...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Ah, reading the article that Greg linked - It's also still very possible, I'd even say likely that they will do all they can to steal the election and have a decent chance of succeeding, depending on how things go....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I think this is basically right. The main limits to the harm he is able to do is his own competence and the competence of the flunkies and sycophants he prefers to surround himself with. This was apparent with the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I think we finally found an actual fun alt-what-if re-enactment. Joy. Seriously though it is compatible with the point that it is something other than an ability to sail into the wind that makes the difference here....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Again, the reason this works is down to even square sails with the wind aft being wings rather than bags. Yeah exactly that. With the exception of the case that the wind is within a degree or two of exactly...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    By way of followup to the discussion about the Qantas "flights to nowhere", I offer this. Please note that Tiger is Virgin Australia's "low cost" carrier and The Shovel is a satirical site. https://www.theshovel.com.au/2020/09/24/tiger-airways-to-offer-sitting-on-tarmac-flights/...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Well always Newton in the sense that it is about accelerating a mass by applying a force. But also definitely Bernoulli, because it is all about the shape the fabric of the sail makes which makes the air around the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    single top boom The term you're looking for is "yard". "Boom" always refers to what you're calling a "bottom boom", which is a spar at the foot of the sail. It's worth skimming something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sail_components Incidentally, have a...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    notion that there no one had any reason to develop better boats That isn't what I am meaning to say, though (apologies for any confusion). What I mean is something more like: they actually did have boats that are better...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    JBS focused on sprit rigs, but my comment is that fore-and-aft rigs were pretty well known, including that they went better to windward. It's not that square rigs can't do it: the 18-19C "golden age of sail" predominantly featured square...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    The glib assumption that all you need is to import a key technology to a primitive society and you will get modern efficiencies is one of the reasons I avoid historical SF like the plague. I actually agree here, and...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    It's a reasonable metaphor for the times, if you don't stretch it too far. Someone changed the programmed course without telling anyone and today, although we don't know it and maybe, even hopefully, never will, we're going to try to...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I wonder how long ago it would have been possible to make a shaft drive. Maybe bevel gears, maybe just wheels with wooden pegs like the ones in windmills... there's surely a big continuum in between....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I'm sure we all remember this, which fits your description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Erebus_disaster I think that Moz's description of the Qantas flight is accurate, however. At this point in history, just like the primary motive for Trumpists seems to be "making the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I have always admired bikes of the design pattern that Maxi Me thingamy instantiates. Having seen the asking price, I did once resolve to make my own with parts from the op shop, gumtree or found on the footpath during...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Could the technologically advantaged aborigines have taken over the world during the last ice age, and we'd have, I don't know, Steel Songlines globally? I agree this is an interesting storyline. I would wonder openly whether "Take over the world!"...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    There was always the what-if storyline about what the Romans at the height of their empire could have made of bicycles, or whatever the closest thing possible with their manufacturing capability would be, had the concept arisen. After all it...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Sadly, we don't see enough combat engineers on bicycles in the steampunk stories. I suppose it's because the stories are supposed to be fantasies, right? You do see a lot of soldiers on bicycles in the stories of Heinrich Böll,...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I've heard (though I have no citation) that while roses and tomatoes are the "bread and butter" of the hydroponics supply industry, the cutting edge, that is the focus of R&D efforts, is definitely marijuana. Roses need sodium grow lights...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    This looks pretty first-hand to me. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christopherm51/oregon-fires-antifa-rumors...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    I have already been thinking I really need to reread Travels in Hyperreality, but I guess a lot of reasons make this very much Eco’s time. It’s a pity he didn’t live longer, but we can say that about a...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    My coincidence, since David Gaeber’s death I have finally got around to reading his book about bullshit jobs. It’s great, full of real gems. I thoroughly recommend it....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    We had a 70s Volvo that had 6 digits, and which we were told had been clocked once (and the engine rebuilt at some point). Seemed to go through coil leads at a silly rate (and it needed unusually long...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    ...but one thing I can do with them is toss some of them in the back of the truck when needed to put weight on the rear wheels. I elided a bit about "ute culture" when I hand-waved at the...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    So roughly 2.4m x 8m = 20 square metres at 20% = 4kW of solar output!! I suppose for grey nomad applications, you'd be talking about the amount of time camping in the sun, charging the batteries versus the time...
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