Zane

Zane

  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Re bicycle troops: They're a cheaper version of Mounted Infantry where you don't have to feed and water the horse, and like mounted infantry (except at Beersheba, just because), nobody's expecting them to go into combat mounted - barring ambush...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    I'm assuming 20 miles/day for someone walking a string of packhorses, mostly through mountainous or semi-mountainous terrain. Yeah, I'd revise that down. I've spent a lot of time on foot, or on horseback, in the Patagonian Andes, doing 300...
  • Commented on Roll the dice
    Mars: The big problem I can see for any colonisation, aside from distance, atmosphere, radiation and power, is that pretty much the whole regolith has ubiquitous perchlorates, at 0.5% to 1%. That's a big 'this whole planet is toxic to...
  • Commented on I ain't dead
    You don't need a million tonnes, in a built up area, a few thousand kilos aerosolised would be plenty unpleasant for anyone in the way of the smoke plume. The main problem is the way it hoons through your nervous...
  • Commented on I ain't dead
    Well, it's not like Texas where the zoning regulations allowed the building of a high school right next to an never-inspected ammonia fertiliser plant. Um, I've worked with HF, the stuff is absolutely terrifying as a direct contact poison and...
  • Commented on I ain't dead
    Yeah, the ongoing surface storage of massive amounts of UF6 in large yards gives me the screaming heebie-jeebies, because many of the yards are within smoke plume distance (or even just _in_) densely populated areas, and if you were to...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas"
    but not under unreasonable conditions (as occurred when the Fukushima Daiichi complex took a nearly Mag 9 quake followed by a 9 metre tsunami, both of which exceeded the design requirements). Um, no, they fiddled the geotechnical investigation to ignore...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    It's funny, reading posts like this, after spending most of the past 20 years preferentially seeking out only linen, hemp, ramie and wool for clothing, because it's phenomenally _more_ comfortable for me to wear than cotton and artificial fibres. I've...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Greg: Yeah, we used to have a large industry processing phormium tenax/harakeke for fibre and canvas, back in the day when Royal Navy consumed immense tonnages of those commodities, as well as most of our old growth Kauri for masts....
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    We've got them burning towers in NZ now - someone tried an arson attack on one of the main transmission towers in my region. They succeeded in munting the local free to air TV, and the local shortwave emergency radio...
  • Commented on Public appearances in a time of pandemic
    I'm just reviewing my health status after two weeks of working from home (ironically after coming down with flu-like symptoms following the attending same wedding that Icehawk mentioned in the previous thread...). Most likely just a seasonal local virus, as...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    Meh. I just did the numbers on what I drive per year, what that costs me in fuel, what my average daily commute distance is, checked out what second hand Nissan Leafs could do, worked out that their range is...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    Yes, everything Moz said, plus having a median house price that's currently massively outpacing most median incomes (Last I looked, it was heading north of 6 times median annual income. Do not look to NZ if you want housing that's...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Bellinghman & Charlie: Bearing in mind that like Moz (Hi Moz!), I'm biased by being from the south, so aside from the plentiful volcanoes, I find most of the North Island insufficiently rocky and lithified (I hang around with and...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances
    Oh, hey. If you do worldcon 2020, I'm geographically co-located for that, so can stand you a beer/drink of your choice, or show you round bits of the country (I'm a geologist, and my nation is extremely geological, to the...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    It's all going a bit 'Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Hard Brexit wgah'nagl fhtagn'...
  • Commented on Bread and Circuses (circumlunar version)
    There's some interesting stuff being done with metal fueled ion drives by Paddy over at Neumann Space. Particularly the possibility of reprocessing mag-alloy space junk fragments into the fuel. Have a look over the different Fuel of the Week options...
  • Commented on Children and War Toys and Violent Video Games and Action Stories
    Happy childhood memories of digging trenches, emplacing heavy machineguns and learning bayonet charge techniques, here....
  • Commented on Duelling - Essentially a Bloody Stupid Idea
    I'm given to understand this is a Shakespear quote: “I would there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Gah, edit: worried for 'worrid'......
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Yes, This. If I was going to use the Maori for a swashbuckling story (I'm not, because I'm not an author, and I don't quite have the cultural knowledge required), one option would be to have the European first contact...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    How about Vladimir Peniakoff, of Popski's Private Army? Not quite in the Mad Jack leagues, but still an interesting character template....
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