Bellinghman

Bellinghman

  • Commented on An age-old question
    combine ballistic missile subs with aircraft carriers Sort of like an update of the Japanese I-400 class subs? (Okay, okay, they had torpedoes rather than ICBMs which weren't around in the early 1940s. And their aircraft complement was somewhat small...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    For some reason, I recall some of the Gav-clones ending up female when they decided to differentiate. If that's not a trick of my memory (conflating with some other story of mass self cloning by Gerrold or Heinlein), then that...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Back when I was living in Cambridge, I once had occasion to take the train to Norwich, where I attempted to buy a bus ticket to the nearby place of Costessay. I had to write the place name out. A...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Tangential to that is the possibility that the decline is slow enough that the city is being tidied up as it decays: as per this photoset of Detroit....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I suspect the lack of tongues on the counter may be more down to them being diverted early in the supply chain to supply the commercial processors who then sell it as a sandwich filling that you can find in...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    bloody unlikely that we wouldn't notice anything, unless ... then committed suicide Or moved off planet, as per David Brin's Uplift society. (All great fun, but I wouldn't posit it as a likely scenario. Relying on subduction trenches and a...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    I've seen their National Forest, and yes, I'm aware that the modern trees are a bit pathetic. But what's there is after deforestation. Initially they did have better forests. However it may be they were having to go to Norway...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Oddly, yes. There seems to have been a ceremonial pylon of immense local significance on the northern edge of the C'mbr'dj camp, with shields facing away from it for many leagues away. However, it appears that a later culture overtook...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Q: What's the nearest source of great big trees, suitable for the building of boats, to Greenland? To answer the rhetorical, Vinland or Iceland. The former had a native population (the Skr├Žlings, whom the Vikings didn't really get on with),...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    And don't get me started on the curved and irregular slabs of toughened, laminated glass found near the rusted remnants of their war chariots. They're one of the great puzzles — they're obviously a crude form of vegetable cloche, but...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    I find it interesting that although Leckie is to me strongly reminiscent of Banks (at least Culture Banks, maybe not Wasp Factory Banks)(yes, I know of the 'M' distinction), her universe ain't anything like as desirable....
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Is that Luftschiff hanger bigger than those at Cardington? Ah, you could have found out for yourself. But the answer is yes, much. It's designed for an airship about 4 times the volume of R101. Err ... "Preussen" was formally...
  • Commented on Leading question
    Jones the Baker? Oh wait, that's t'other way round....
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    For a large proportion of the world's population, air-con is as important as heating. And when you use A/C, the extra heat from lights costs yet more to get rid of. So yes, that's waste. Even in the UK, it's...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Define 'programming language'. Excel is, as mentioned, missing a lot of what 'normal' programming languages consider essential. But it transforms input using user-defined rules to produce an output (without requiring VBA). I doubt that it's Turing-complete, but that's not a...
  • Commented on Some thoughts on turning 50
    "inside every old man there's an 8 year old wondering what the hell just happened" Terry Pratchett is one of the wisest men my wife and I know - and it's breaking our hearts that he's dwindling so. When my...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    ... aaand we have a new strange attractor, one that would have been on-topic for the previous thread. I suspect the commentariat here has a lot in common with cats. We're quite happy to talk about things so long as...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    trope inversion is one of the laziest things a writer can do. Except for not inverting any tropes....
  • Commented on The morning after
    Ah, Meyrin. I remember sitting on the terrace of a works canteen there, drinking beer with my lunch and looking out over the fields at where the CERN ring is. (I was writing software at Firmenich at the time, boggling...
  • Commented on The morning after
    There's a much less extreme example of an exclave near Schaffhausen, where a part of Switzerland pokes across the Rhine into Germany, leaving part of the latter surrounded...
  • Commented on The morning after
    There are cases in Europe (sorry no cites) where national frontiers run down the middle of a road through a town Here you are — my favourite example of where an international border becomes almost fractal....
  • Commented on The morning after
    Can someone explain to me why you can't work in a different region to the one in which you live? It certainly wouldn't be the first case where workers in a city actually live in neighbouring administrations. The example I'm...
  • Commented on The morning after
    I'm going for the airport option, at least down here. Region 1 - Heathrow and W Region 2 - Gatwick and S Region 3 - Luton and NW Region 4 - Stansted and NE Region 5 - LCA and London...
  • Commented on The morning after
    There are historical reasons for much of that though, as evidenced by the way former military airbases litter the area. However, your figure of 90% is distinctly unbalanced, and even putting all quick response units down south (yeah, Typhoons going...
  • Commented on Apology
    I suspect it's most startling when you're recognised by a stranger, as you and I (and our respective partners) have randomly encountered each other more than once on the streets of Dublin in past years. Streets leading towards the Burlington...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    PS typo? "peelian principles"? 'peelian', adjectival form of 'Peel', for Sir Robert Peel who is referred to in the 'fundamental principles' link that Charlie gave. That these principles emerged in Britain half a century after the US went its own...
  • Commented on So ...
    half as much as the average Hugo award And the Australian one, at least, has quite a low centre of gravity, though I can't remember how heavy it really felt. Solid, that one. Some other years ones have quite flimsy...
  • Commented on So ...
    Just the one cat currently, and from pictures elsewhere, she seems more interested in keeping Charlie's keyboard hostage....
  • Commented on Loncon 3: Charlie's worldcon schedule
    doing three large conventions on consecutive weekends would be insane I agree. Which is why we're only doing two out of the Discworld Convention, LonCon3 and Shamrokon. Oh wait, it seems we're only doing badges for two of those, and...
  • Commented on Gods and genre
    Human-powered ornithopters have been made And one appears to have managed to fly for oh, a couple of dozen heartbeats after being towed into the air and while still in ground effect, in perfectly still air. It's deeply impressive from...
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