Geek stuff

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 […]

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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 […]

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I find that my Prism Quantum two-line kite is too frustrating to fly in winds of less than 16 knots (kn). The ideal range is 16-25 kn, with the wind consistent in power and coming from a consistent direction. That’s a rare situation indeed in Toronto, where winds are almost never so strong and tend […]

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This remarkable interview with Robert Hill, Former Chief Naval Engineer Officer of the Royal Navy, discusses the peculiarities of Hyman Rickover, including some very revealing stories, as well as Rickover’s role in developing the civilian reactor at Shippingport. The description of Rickover’s interaction with the chairman of Rolls Royce is quite amusing, though it also […]

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Spring brought an increasing flow of decrypts about Wehrmacht operations in the Eastern Mediterranean. Senior officers strove to streamline the transfer of information from Bletchley to battlefields, so that material reached commanders in real time. One of the most significant intercepts, detailing German plans for the May 1941 invasion of Crete, reported ‘probable date of […]

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Hut 8 [of Bletchley Park] now had enough information to read some U-boat signals, but the seizure which opened the traffic to fluent decryption was the fruit of chance and high courage, rather than of design. On 9 May 1941 a convoy escort group attacked and forced to the surface Julius Lempe’s U-110. A boarding […]

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Life is hectic with advising my undergraduate students on the first written assignment while grading assignments from the graduate course where I am a TA. I have been using a few breaks to play the excellent and engrossing boardless board game Hive, both online and with the portable pocket set. I haven’t progressed to the […]

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Notably: Canon 24-70 f/2.8L Canon 70-200 f/4L Canon 100 2.8L macro Canon 50 1.4 Metz 44 AF-1 Canon 430EX-II PocketWizard PlusX (x3) Synology NAS

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When I see people out walking dogs, I like reaching a hand out to the creatures and seeing their reactions. Usually the humans are happy about this and volunteer information about the dog’s name and breed. Occasionally, there are people who pointedly ignore me and yank hard on the leash to punish the dog for […]

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