Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Some random group of tourists.
I didn't know they made such large ones. All I have ever seen is the small baskets that hold three or maybe four people. A balloon big enough to lift three people is huge, a balloon big enough to lift two dozen must be ginormous! I spent some time trying to find chart that would illustrate the different sizes of balloons, but all I could find was this chart from the Red Bull record setting high altitude parachute jump from last year.
Eventually I realized that a balloon's lifting capacity goes up by the cube of the diameter, so a balloon that is twice as big in diameter as a normal 3 or 4 person balloon would be able to lift 8 times as many people (2 x 2 x 2), or 24 to 32. One of these giant tourist balloons would not be as big as number 2 on this chart. Spreadsheet of popular commercial balloon sizes and capacities here. It takes about 64 cubic feet of hot air to provide one pound of lift.
Stu is talking about clock towers today and he mentions this really big clock in Mecca, so I have to go look it up. It's not just a big clock, it's a friggin' huge building. I had no idea this thing even existed. That giant tower from Mission Impossible is on the left in this picture. The Sears Tower is the pale gray one just to the right. Here is a link to another size comparison chart.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Tornado hit Oklahoma yesterday. 24 people dead, 240 injured.
Dustbury pointed me to this National Weather Service map. I noticed that the path of the 1999 tornado started AND ended outside the frame. How far did it travel?
Quite a ways. Notice the relative locations of Newcastle and Moore on both maps.
Then it occurred to me that they are drinking wine all the time, well, at least when they are in town. Occasionally you will see soldiers drinking water when away from town, but I'm pretty sure the habitual drinking of water in a town was a good way to contract some horrible disease that would kill you.
So basically these guys are intoxicated all the time, so no wonder everything they do seems insane. Rational thought is going to have to wait for a couple-three hundred years for clean water.
We're all in this together, we're all drinking, we're all crazy, and we're all comfortable with this. This is what we are familiar with: 5,000 years of the fruit of the vine.
And then we run into ganja from the East, and hey, that stuff is different. Those people are different. They act different, they think differently, they smell different. Grrrr, they must be the enemy! Wine is the one true God! We must slay all the ganga smokers! And that's why we have our great and wondrous War on Drugs.
Monday, May 20, 2013
This is a model of a gunboat, similar to the ones the French used at the Battle of Yu Oc in Vietnam back in the 1880's. Didn't realize their involvement went so far back. More photo's of this model here. Model was built in Tennessee for a customer in England. Via Scott.