It’s strange that a stage show running in one city is affecting the whole continent, but New York isn’t a normal place and Lin-Manuel Miranda clearly isn’t a normal man.
The killing in Orlando originally prompted my personal doctrine in response to political violence: refuse to be terrorized. One or a few people armed and keen to kill do not affect my thinking about politics.
I cried quite unexpectedly when I saw Miranda’s sonnet.
Reading more about the musical, and revelling in my BitTorrent audio, I am increasingly impressed by the virtuoso genius of the thing. Violence has sometimes been a decisive factor historically, but there is scope to hope that ideas and arguments can be our battleground as humanity learns to live all together on this small planet.
From a number of perspectives, I find YouTube videos which include demonstrations of Trident D5 missile launches from American Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines highly interesting:
I find the first of the three clips (USS Nebraska) especially intriguing because of the highly stylized, almost theatrical language of the exchange between the bridge officers authenticating the emergency action message. In the second and third clips (USS Kentucky and USS Pennsylvania), the process is either simplified or not shown. The deliberateness of orders being given and then repeated back, with each action then being completed by a two-man team, seems demonstrative of a training culture and a concept of operations based around the two man rule. The way in which certain messages are broadcast on loudspeaker to the entire crew is also interesting from a security and system design perspective.
There is clearly a substantial recruiting angle to such ‘documentaries’, which helps explain why the navy would tolerate the bother and potential security risks associated. A related dimension is helping to justify the huge costs associated with a fleet of 18 multi-billion dollar submarines, each with 24 $37 million dollar missiles, each capable of carrying 12 nuclear warheads.
It also seems plausible that publicly demonstrating the functioning of such systems adds to their credibility in the eyes of potential adversaries.
The launch procedures above are interesting to contrast with those depicted for a British Vanguard-class boat (HMS Victorious) carrying the same missiles. The protocol of using a yellow stick to guard the launch code safe is an especially amusing British security strategy. This depiction, straight from the Royal Navy (HMS Vigilant), is more serious in tone, though it still lacks the drama of the American variations.
In the Massey College room where I lived for three years (V:4, best room in the college), there was a sumptuous abundance of shelf space: two shelves extending the entire long axis of the room (probably 20′ of shelving each), plus this shelving unit between the office and bedroom areas.
Now, my generally excellent new third story room near Bloor and Bathurst is cluttered with at least 16 bankers boxes full of books, plus about 100 more books stacked in various piles. To ameliorate the situation, I am ordering a custom-fitted bookshelf from Inova in Toronto — 7’6″ tall, reaching from the floor to the edge of the ceiling moulding, and 5′ wide, stretching from a kink in a radiator pipe to the edge of the radiator itself. Since they are custom building it (in two pieces, to navigate our awkward staircase), it will be about a month until delivery, but it should be a major permanent improvement to the room for me and whoever resides here after.
The case probably won’t offer quite as much shelving as my Massey room, but it will be an enormous improvement visually, in terms of movement within the space, and in terms of access to books which I frequently wish to reference, especially as the development of my thesis continues.
Rebecca Bruton – whose previous album We Are The Kingdom, We Are The Desert I admire a great deal – has a new release on BandCamp: ponies under darkness.
Her music is a provocative challenging take on folk, not quite like anything else I’ve heard.