Sailing Hummingbird feeder

Travels and Images

WEEK 39 2007

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week

Picture of the Week


Lancaster Weather NOAA
Lancaster WeatherUnderground

First Post, 17 March 2002
Five Years Ago, This Week, 2002 Four Years Ago, This Week, 2003 Three Years Ago, this week, 2004 Two Years Ago, This Week, 2005 A Year Ago, This Week, 2006

Weekly Picture Archive

Saturday 29 September 2007

Saturday - on my way down to my friend Tims barbecue in San Diego. It's always fun and this was no exception. Good company, good food, good weather :-)

Friday 28 September 2007

Friday -  I saw a bum on the street the other day and tried to give him a dollar. When my hand hit the mirrored glass window I knew it was time for a haircut. And my friend S took care of that. Thanks!

From a comment on John Scalzi's blog:
"The Internet, where the men are men, the women are men, and the 14 year old girls are FBI agents."

Okay, Worldkit is free software. The GIM page of yesterday didn't mention it, but the AM page had a little icon at the bottom. Interesting. But I still would need something to map! There is some interesting stuff in the examples section.

On the road this weekend, probably not a lot of posting.

Thursday 27 September  2007

Thursday - an interactive map of terrorism and suspicious activities, Global Incident Map. [via, remarkably, Ghost of a Flea]

And an Alert Map.

Looks like the same s/w technology - I wonder if it's free? It says "Powered by Google" and there is a reference to Google Analytics in the source. Interesting, even though I don't actually have any worldwide stuff I need to plot.

Not quite so high tech and a bit lighter in tone is the Best of Craig's List, (admittedly a little crude and sometimes often gross).

My favorites so far:

Oddly the Friedensbrücke is not on the big river in Plauen, but over a street and, perhaps, small stream, to the north and west of the city center. There is a Panormino photo icon in Google Earth you can click on. Look for the intersection of Friedensstrabe & Senefelder Strabe, it's near there.

I couldn't find Wuchao. China's a big place. And Google Earth has mostly terrible resolution there.

Wednesday 26 September 2007

Wednesday - I was led astray today, doing some research on another subject (weirs, note: I added the sentence about grade stabilizers to the wiki) to the non-business oriented, but interesting to me subject of Stone Arch bridges. 

The stone bridge with the greatest single span in Europe is apparently in Plauen, Germany, the  Friedensbrücke, with a clear span of about 90 meters, (1905).


For the entire world the current bridge with the largest single clear span would apparently be the Wuchaohe Bridge in Hunan Province (1990), at 120 meters, though it apparently contains some reinforced concrete elements. 


Note the grade stabilizers (weirs) in the river. Heh.

Here is a modern program, Archie, for designing masonry arches and viaducts.

The late medieval and renaissance (secret) method of design was apparently "As the chain hangs, so the bridge stands.". In other words, hanging a chain across a gap gives a shape of perfect tension - invert it and you have a shape of perfect compression (a 'catenary' curve, actually) suitable for stone and brick. The greater the drop of the chain, the greater the rise of the bridge. The greater the rise of the bridge the less the outwards thrust at the abutments and the less foundation work required there, the trade off being a heavier, higher, and harder to cross bridge.

The Romans just used circular arches, and, to be honest, almost everybody else did as well. Those that didn't use circular arches for the most part used elliptical sections. Much simpler to lay out and construct than trying to find a perfectly straight flat wall hundreds of feet high and long to draw on, or to solve the hyperbolic cosines involved in a catenary by hand (and note: that extra mass of material needed to create a less sloped or level roadbed over the arch would modify the basic catenary shape anyway).

The original (sort of) London Bridge was made up of twenty small circular arches. Demolished in 1831 after about 600 years of use, it was replaced by a bridge designed by Rennie with, I believe, elliptical sections. That bridge only lasted 150 years, when it was torn down and shipped to Arizona.

The 3rd, current, bridge is an ugly concrete box. Why the British didn't do something more interesting than the monstrosity they built is beyond me. They beat the Germans in WWII, but then adopted the Teutonic grim grey concrete design philosophy that they are only now starting rebel against. I suppose it was a reaction to the Victorian clutter, 'honesty in architecture' or something, but, well, Ugh.

I've been on the Ugly London Bridge (bus), Tower Bridge (bus and foot), and Arizona's London Bridge (car and foot).

I'll have to see if I can dig up some pictures.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Tuesday - I'm starting to get some spam in Gmail. Not much, one or two messages a week, but it's worrisome. For the longest time there were none. Yahoo mail gave me two or three a day. My own server mail? I had to turn it off. Overwhelming amounts of spam. I know it's an ongoing battle, but it looks like Google is not keeping up :-(

Joel Sposky on 'bloated' software, sort of. "HTML is CICS with fonts." No, that's not the point of the article, but it's true enough to be funny. [via Newmark's Door]

 Monday 24 September 2007

Monday - so for lunch I was having a nice peanut butter sandwich, with the leftover heels from my last loaf of bread and the Skippy Super Crunch (thanks Dad). And broke off part of a molar, the inside half. Leaving a filling sticking out into my mouth like a dead tree trunk leaning out of a stream bank. Bah.

I linked to an article online about writers' offices the other day - today  I ran across a reference to a mystery book:   An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England. Heh. I wonder if any of the featured writers have read that. They probably wouldn't have been as eager for an interview.

Sunday 23 September 2007

Sunday - The 49ers' lost to the Steelers, which was a bit of a downer. But they weren't terrible. In fact they led for a brief while (14 seconds) and in general played a reasonable game. The receivers' weren't up to snuff, and there was a bit of miscommunication, but they did as well against the Steelers' as one would expect in such a match up.

I will even go so far as to say I expect a SF winning season this year, over 0.500.

This was the Autumnal Equinox. I meant to get out and get my picture of the sun setting due West, but didn't. Forgot completely. But, what the heck, it'll happen again next year...

I am reminded that this is the anniversary of the victory of John Paul Jone's USS Bonhomme Richard over the HMS Seraphis. Book #15 this year was a biography of John Paul Jones and it went into detail about that battle. Jone's had come upon a fabulous chance - a fleet of heavily laden merchantman and escorted by the Seraphis. Jone's himself was leading a small flotilla of ships, but his leadership was in dispute. Rather than following his commands and lead to engage the Seraphis the others sailed off, leaving him alone to fight the newer heavier gunned British frigate with his ancient converted Indiaman. (Well, there was a French captain who would sail about the cloud of gun smoke that completely engulfed the two ships, firing indiscriminantly into the cloud. Not much help there.)

Picture of the Week
West Valley road
Photo Notes: West valley road & aqueduct.

Last Week- Sun- Mon- Tue- Wed- Thur- Fri- Sat- Next Week