Banner
Sing a Song of Politics

Sing a Song of PoliticsI was testing my memory, trying to remember things that I learned way back...

The Voynich Wikiwars - Episode 2

The Voynich Wikiwars - Episode 2This is a follow-on to my previous article about an opinion piece...

Gibbs, Voynich, Wikiwars and the Times Illiteracy Supplement

Gibbs, Voynich, Wikiwars and the Times Illiteracy SupplementDeclaration of interest: I have been...

Hurricane Information Updates

Hurricane Information UpdatesA site which has been providing potentially life-saving updates about...

User picture.
picture for Hontas Farmerpicture for Hank Campbellpicture for Tommaso Dorigopicture for Robert H Olleypicture for Fred Phillipspicture for Helen Barratt
Patrick LockerbyRSS Feed of this column.

Retired engineer, 71 years young. Computer builder and programmer. Linguist specialising in language acquisition and computational linguistics. Interested in every human endeavour except the scrooge... Read More »

Blogroll
Wonky Rockets? Wonky Theory!


The British tabloids Express, Metro, Daily Star, Sun and others seem to think that some or all of the rockets displayed in North Korea recently are bogus.  The "proof" is the wonky nosecones shown in a BBC video.

It's not the Rockets that were wonky.  Rather, the "news" reports demonstrate wonky thinking. Media reports about wonky rockets prove only that some reporters tend to write stories based on their own lack of knowledge.  Due diligence is obviously not a term with which these scribblers are familiar.
The Amery Zig-Zags

Cracks in the Amery Ice Shelf show a prominent zig-zag form.  This is a type of crack which forms in a laminated material which is deformed under pressure.   As the laminate is forced into a curve it tends to crack in a series of radial and lateral failures.

The Amery Ice Shelf is the largest of the East Antarctic ice shelves.  Its location is shown in the map below.


Antarctica ice shelves
image courtesy NSIDC.
How Wind Turbines Work - A Legal Perspective

If you want to know how a wind turbine works you may visit Wikipedia or the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


You would not normally look for scientific information on a case law web site, but there is now an excellent scientific description of wind turbine basics in a judgement on patent law as applied to a wind turbine design.
The Guardian, or as it is more affectionately known to its readers, The Grauniad, seems to think that it takes a native Russian speaker to write 'f' as 'ph'.

Almost certainly, a native Russian speaker wrote the original material, correctly transliterating the Russian “f” as “ph”.

Er, no!
Psst!  Wanna Buy Some Truth?

In case anyone has missed my many articles on the topic of global warming-induced climate change: I am totally convinced that humans have been causing global warming to an ever-increasing extent since we discovered the use of fire1.  I am also totally convinced that global warming has caused the global climate to change from the average conditions prevailing over thousands of years.  A change from the average is bad because it is making seasonal weather conditions less predictable for farming, fishing and food production generally.
The STENDEC Puzzle

Ever since BSAA Avro Lancastrian Star Dust vanished on a flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, the ending of its final transmission - STENDEC - has continued to puzzle experts and amateurs alike.

Star Dust, registration G-AGWH, an Avro 691 Lancastrian 3, departed Buenos Aires for Santiago at 13.46 on 2 August 1947.  It was not seen again until wreckage was discovered in 1998 by two mountaineers climbing Mount Tupungato.  The wreckage was found about 50 miles (80 km) east of Santiago.