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de_Selby

Member since Nov 2008 • Last active Nov 2019
  • 12 conversations
  • 467 comments

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  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Changing the subject (phew!) ... my submission for the pedantry award:

    Flight testing is done within an 'envelope'. Now't to do with envelopes, but the shape of the bits of the graph of load (y axis) against speed (x) that you have investigated is usually open-envelope shaped. The 'point' of the 'flap' being at the origin (no speed, no load).

    So 'pushing the envelope', beloved of film makers, corporate bullshitters and folk who don't know anything but like to do buzzy talk, derives from flight testing where the engineers seek to push a single factor beyond the confines of the envelope - which is where they've already been and the aeroplane hasn't broken or bent.

    So, maybe, a 2g turn at 600 knots goes to a 2g turn at 620knots. All done carefully and methodically, then back to base for the write-up and analysis before going to 640 knots.

    The small increments are essential because things like flutter often have a sudden onset and can be completely destructive - loss of prototype!

    I think it came to non-engineering prominence with Tom Wolfe's 'The Right Stuff' in the 1980s.

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    +1 for Ebony R-B. Also Dave Podmore ... seems to have disappeared of late.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    I am a huge fan of the Primus stove and have about 5 of them. I always take two on a camping trip. They are utterly reliable, but it helps to understand their needs and foibles.

    I would never suggest that they are convenient; there are numerous downsides. However the satisfying roar when they get going is quite a thing. I have had zero success in getting either of my kids to learn to use them; even mrs de Selby is content to watch and marvel.

    However, having watched fellow campers have all sorts of trouble with various other types of stove, I don't think the venerable Primus is far behind in actual practicality in use.

    There used to be a chap in a hardware shop on Goswell Road EC1 who used to carry spares. The shop is still there (City Hardware?) but I don't think they keep the parts any more.

    There is nothing you can't fix on a Primus, and it all fits into a little tin box. If the Japanese can go to town on their tea ceremony just to make a cup of tea, I have huge respect for anyone who considers the ritual of starting up a Primus an acceptable price for the same. 3-course meals take a little longer but are just as much fun.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Yeah, but, ... the peas thing ...

    If they were really upside-down they'd fall off, right?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Nope ... it means standing around, probably with a can of beer on, admiring your mate's new motor. Basically, nothing is happening except basking in the reflected glory of your chum's shiny new ride. Madame, looking out the window from the house, sees nothing but some blokes aimlessly chatting and kicking tyres. 'Where's my dad?' 'Oh, he's outside kicking tyres with Billy and Fred'.

    In aircraft speak it does indeed mean checking the tyres are inflated. The rather flippant 'Kick the tyres and light the fires' means a quick walk round and let's get going. In truth pilots do a lot more than kick the tyres when they do their walk-round inspection.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Spoons? Or 'Spoons?

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    's just old units like ounces 'n' shit, as above.

    Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog ... went out of use in about the 50s.

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Also, if I want to negotiate something - buy or sell a house or bike, say - then 'no deal' is perfectly reasonable. I'm not being offered what I had hoped to be offered; I think I'll keep the house, thanks.

    With leaving the EU, we have already agreed to leave. We can leave well or badly, but we'll still leave. So it's dishonest to portray 'no deal' as the common-sense option that always stays on the table and both parties are fully aware of it.

    This idea has been gaining ground, backed by 'sensible' business types, that it's daft to rule it out. Normally it is; here it isn't.

    Just saying ....

  • in Miscellaneous and Meaningless
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    Re Will Melling ... looks like the path from Pin Mill to Woolverstone. Amirite?

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    For an interesting background read on the subject I strongly recommend this article...

    [https://www.jacobinmag.com/2018/04/jeremĀ­y-corbyn-antisemitism-labour-party]

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