I’m clearing out the blog I started as a scrapbook for Seeds research, then hardly ever used. For your delectation- the sum total of links-
Some of the stuff I found on Monday-
Unfinished or aborted German warplane projects from WW2
A wartime chronology with key players and a secret weapons page.
Edwards Air Force Base- check out the flying wing bombers
The Vultee XP-54. I like this plane, and I’m already working on designs based upon it.
The reminiscences of an American test pilot circa WW2.
I once read a short story in Interzone magazine, called Habbakuk, about a giant carrier built from ice and wood pulp insulation, and wanted to introduce something similar to the Seeds story. I didn’t realise it was based upon genuine WW2 experiments.
Another site on the subject.
Someone actually mixed up and did experiments with Pykrete, the stuff Habbakuk was to be made of.
Interesting images and slightly garbled English from a 1930’s article on speculative flying boat designs.
The truth about flying saucers? Another wonderful, and very, very wierd, plane.
You can even make (unreliable link) models of it.
Janssen was in a rage. �You sent those troops out there to sop sabotage, not to be massacred!�
�Yes sir.� Boran wondered at what point the troop train had become his idea. He had been in his office going through the list of the dead and drafting letters to families when Janssen had called for him.
�This after what happened to the wings and in the goods yard!�
�I want you to action this immediately. I want these scum to see what happens when they try to hurt us!�
�Sir?� Boran studied the sheet Janssen was stabbing at. It was a death order, for ten times as many as had been lost in the train ambush. �I cannot do that sir. I will not be party to murder.�
�Will not? You do not have the stomach for it then? No. No, I know what it is. I have read your political file! Get out! I shall order the purge myself!�
That had probably been Janssen�s intention all along- Boran now noticed that there were multiple copies of the order on his desk. He turned and stared out of the window, trying not to look smug at his manoeuvring. Boran picked up one of the sheets and pretended to read it.
�Are you still here? Leave, I told you.� I shall deal with you later.� Boran left, the papers still in his hand.
There were no guards awaiting him in the outer office. The corridors were no more nor less busy than usual. Janssen hadn�t yet issued his internal purge yet. He must still be lining up people to take blame. Boran�s own office was the same as ever- the Army issue male typists of the pool and his own assistant outside his door.
Aylo was a native of the cities. Working as a clerk for the occupying forces, there was every chance he was pure collaborator. But if he weren�t�..
Janssen had already fabricated enough evidence to put Boran in the poisoner�s chair. If he was going to die for treason then he might as well do something treasonous. He unfolded the paper and approached Boran�s desk.
�Commander Janssen has requested some items from the commercial district. I would like you to collect them.� Boran had trouble controlling his voice. He wanted to be curt, the very model of an arrogant southerner. But the army typists knew how polite he normally was to his clerk, and would get suspicious. He slid the sheet across the desk, tapping a finger on the official stamp.
Aylo studied the list, doing well to control his emotions. �Some of these, erm. Some of these will be hard to procure.�
�Just so long as you are not caught. I would not like to to explain that to him.�
�How soon does he need them?�
�A couple of days, maybe a little longer. But it would be best if you start right away.�
�Yes sir.� Aylo grabbed his rain shawl. He paused and dipped his hand into the inside pocket. �There is some paperwork for you sir.� He gathered it together. Whatever was in his hand was slipped into the top most folder.
Boran closed his office door. He ran his hands over the folders. His window overlooked the main gates. He watched as Aylo hurried through, hunched against the rain. Now that his fate was truly sealed, he opened the top folder.
Nestling inside the folder was a piece of jewellery. Hanging off a fine chain was a little silver tower, two digits long and half a digit in diameter, finely decorated with tiny runes. Boran kissed the little icon and clasped the chain around his neck.
www.jasonisacock.com It isn’t a vicious hate campaign, it’s art.
Edit No, actually it is a vicious hate campaign as well.
The Ten Commandments of Access I’m sure I sin some of the time, but I’m not so sinful as I used to be.
As promised- Seeds–
The weapon in the boxcar had been the same two digit calibre as the anti air. It had cut the seven men to shreds. Umat was studying his casualties, Lensman went to his.
Each man had identifying bracelets on each ankle and around their neck. If their body parts were too far separated it would delay their entry to the warriors� paradise. Lensman walked back along the line of fire, picking up all the pieces he could find, including any blood soaked earth. When he was happy with this he took all the ID tags and pocketed them. Mov and Rey joined him to dig the graves.
They didn�t say any prayers, the dead would have their fill of their chosen religion on the other side. Umat joined them at the grave side. His comrades had been placed atop an impromptu pyre which had yet to be lit. �It is a great victory, even with these losses.� He announced through Rey.
�Where will you go now?� Lensman asked.
�Perhaps we will vanish. More likely we will fight. Come, see what my men have found.�
There were two small vehicles in the last boxcar. Each had six large and wide deep treaded tyres, each on its own independently sprung swing arm. There were seats for a driver and commander and a cupola turret- all armoured. The turret held two of the two digit anti-airs. �We have seen these many times. They are called scuttlers. You have no need for them? You are going back to the mountains?�
�No, we have no use for them.�
�Then we shall take them. With these we can strike fast at smaller patrols and escape.� It was a risky proposition, but the joy of his freedom was letting Umat see beyond the danger.
�My best wishes to you.� They made the traders� seal, each grasping the other�s elbow, locking forearms and leaving their ribcages open to the knife they trusted wasn�t there. �Now we should strip what we can from this thing, fire it and leave.�
Pointed there by the Guardian, I have registered at YouGov, where I can get paid for participating in polls. I don’t expect to make much money, but as YouGov is the Telegraph’s pollster of choice, I hope I can balance the results.
Conversational snippet from last night-
Janet “I don’t recall you being gay.”
Me- “Neither do I. You’d think I’d remember something like that.”
Boo! Hallowe’en is the work of the devil!
Actually, we already knew that.
Once more into the hits log- with added commentary.
Searches that found me-
Dudley earthquake (or variations upon this) Earthquakes are good for business, I’ve had loads of people come to my site after this search. I think it’s a good time to mention all the earthquakes in Manchester this week.
GTA3 skins (including a large subset of GTA3 naked skins). I’m not sure how this one relates to me, but it’s second most popular one for finding me. I guess now that GTA3 is available for the PC it’s possible to make custom skins for the cars and characters.
Bay Blades This is either about a Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual rowing team or Bey Blades, which are groovy battling spinner game things.
how to jump rope basics naked Who thinks up these searches?
sultan of brunei’s car collection Here’s the article that comes out top of the search. The man has some wild cars.
umist beerfest 2002 Which I went to on Friday. Fun as ever. Random beerfest memories- finding the bar was so busy that the two people working it couldn’t keep up, I popped round and helped out, clearing the backlog so I could get served quicker- reunion with the exec members I worked with nine years ago- my beerfest song (Stupid Girl by Garbage) played without even having to request it [Beerfest ’95 or 96 I was more drunk than normal and dedicated it to my ex girlfriend]- Dave T declaring that he was going to get so drunk that he would become totally irresistable to women, but only reaching the point where he was ironically irresistable- having a discussion with Zoe about my favourite type of sheep [Jacobs, because thay have these cool horns you can grab onto and……… I’ll get my coat]
Sex Positions and “the corkscrew” Their emphasis quotations.
nell mcandrews naked It does work! No-one ever came here for Britney Spears naked, I guess I don’t get surfed by many canadians. The thing is, I don’t find Nell McAndrews that attractive, not even when she’s dressed up as Lara Croft.
“Maryland sniper” I’m glad for the people over there that it’s over, but I can guess that my friends the FReepers will be all over the fact that he converted to Islam.
beast sex clips Emily suggested I insert a sheep joke here, but after the Jacobs incident I’m not so sure. What is really wierd is that the link right after mine was to Georgeclooney.org
rubberised canvas supply uk ??????
I’m starting a slow process of uncluttering my life. I’m selling off comics and stuff on EBay, I’m going to rip all my CD singles to the hard drive and I might sell them as well, and I’m thinking about getting rid of the television. The last is because I watched a whole two hours of TV this week- The Shield, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Coupling (if I hadn’t been out last night I would probably have watched Have I Got News For You, but that’s it). It was on for the sake of moving pictures whilst I ate, but that doesn’t really count.
I’ve gone without TV before. In 1998, the portable set I then had fused and I lasted over six months before hiring a replacement set. People thought I was a bit odd and the TV licencing folks couldn’t cope with it, but I got on. I read, I wrote, I surfed. It was quite constructive. This time it would be even easier because there’s a DVD drive in my PC.
Working in an office, even one with nice people and interesting tasks, just reinforces my desire to be self employed and work from home.
The first explosion shattered the wood, bent the tracks and rocked the flatbed. The secondary blast, as the gas canisters went up, lifted the flatbed and threw some of the anti air crew off. The metal wheels dug into the soft plains earth and it began skewing off at an angle.
The locomotive followed the flatbed until the coupling broke and the rail car flipped over. The engine rolled over the flatbed, crashed off at its own angle and gouged a path through the seed grass. Prisoners and Lensman�s men scattered as it headed for them.
Emergency brakes were screaming on in the remaining carriages, but couldn�t stop the first three cars derailing. The stonks laid shots into these upturned boxes, turning the dark wood panelling into shrapnel.
One by one the autogunners dropped as Kess did his job. One of them ducked low behind the cover of his nest and kept firing wildly. Kess transferred his attention to the anti air at the rear of the train.
The bomb lobbers arced their first shots over the train and onto the track beyond. The crew dialled in some adjustments and landed their second salvo dead on the anti air, completing Kess� task.
Former prisoners and Lensman�s squad had risen from the seed grass and were concentrating fire on the upright passenger carriage. They charged toward it, over confident.
Lensman could see the tactical mistake, and had his fears confirmed when a series of small explosions shook the rear boxcar. The carriage walls disappeared as a large calibre gun fired from inside. Five prisoners and two of Lensman�s men fell. The rest dived for cover and began returning fire.
The bomb lobber crew dialled in another correction and fired. The boxcar exploded.
Out of ammunition, the last autogunner moved to reload. Kess put a bullet into the narrow gap between the rim of his helmet and the top of the sandbag barrier.
There was a lull. Everyone moved more carefully toward the last boxcar and carriage. Lensman trotted up the track and joined Mov and Rey in checking the wrecked locomotive and carriages for survivors. There were none. The sound of smashing glass and gunfire heraldd the last stand of the soldiers in the upright carriage.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Why I hate cyclists Oh look, another sad whiney pedestrian trying to make us feel sorry for them.
I’m a cyclist, and I hate idiot cyclists as much as the next person, but being lumped in with them because I prefer pedal power really pisses me off.
A friend forwarded this to me yesterday. It’s depressing that she knows I need a visit from the Hot Sex fairy, and even more depressing that I’m too lazy to forward it to ten people. I’m hoping that posting it here will qualify me for a visit from at least the Hot Cuddle fairy-
> …..don’t normally follow the send this to 10 people lark…but the thought of never having good sex again brought me out in a cold sweat! and besides a visit from the hot sex fairy wouldn’t go amiss
> >1. Sex is a beauty treatment. Scientific tests find that when women make love they produce amounts of the hormone estrogen, which makes hair shine and skin smooth.
> >2. Gentle, relaxed lovemaking reduces your chances of suffering dermatitis, skin rashes and blemishes. The sweat produced cleanses the pores and makes your skin glow.
> >3. Lovemaking can burn up those calories you piled on during that romantic dinner.
> >4. Sex is one of the safest sports you can take up. It stretches and tones up just about every muscle in the body. It’s more enjoyable than swimming 20 laps, and you don’t need special sneakers!
> >5. Sex is an instant cure for mild depression. It releases endorphins into the bloodstream, producing a sense of euphoria and leaving you with a feeling of well-being.
> >6. The more sex you have, the more you will be offered. The sexually active body gives off greater quantities of chemicals called pheromones. These subtle sex perfumes drive the opposite sex crazy!
> >7. Sex is the safest tranquilizer in the world. IT IS 10 TIMES MORE EFFECTIVE THAN VALIUM.
> >8. Kissing each day will keep the dentist away. Kissing encourages saliva to wash food from the teeth and lowers the level of the acid that causes decay, preventing plaque build-up.
> >9. Sex actually relieves headaches. A lovemaking session can release the tension that restricts blood vessels in the brain.
> >10. A lot of lovemaking can unblock a stuffy nose. Sex is a natural antihistamine. It can help combat asthma and hay fever.
> >This message has been sent to you for good luck in sex. The original is in a room in Palaiseau. It has been sent around the world nine times. Now sex has been sent to you. The “Hot Sex Fairy” will visit you within four days of receiving this message, provided you, in turn, send it on. If you don’t, then you will never receive good sex again for the rest of your life. You will eventually become celibate, and your genitals will rot and fall off.
> >This is no joke! Send copies to people you think need sex (who doesn’t?). Don’t send money, as the fate of your genitals has no price.
> >Do not keep this message. This message must leave your e-mail in 96 hours. Please send ten copies and see what happens in four days. Since the copy must tour the world, you must send it. This is true, even if you are not superstitious. GOOD SEX, but please remember: 10 copies of this message must leave your e-mail in 96 hours or you will not have good sex again for the rest of your life!!!!
Quite enough of that. Seeds–
There were welding kits in the boxcar. They pulled the pins from a length of rail a thousand spans from the siding and severed it. They also found a section further away where the level was maintained by wooden supports over a shallow dip. The half full cylinders were packed in this with explosives.
One autogun stayed atop the boxcar. The other was taken into the seed grass. Kess found a ridge and set up with his baby long rifle and a pair of field glasses. The shadows were beginning to stretch when he gestured the sighting of smoke down the track.
Lensman did a last survey of his men. They were arrayed in the seed grass with a number of the prisoners. Some of the track gang were still working, to fool spotters on the train. The stonks were hidden in the shadow of the boxcar and the bomb lobbers were behind it, aimed at the track beyond the explosives.
Lensman joined his man with the detonator. The key was turned and the explosives were primed. As the train appeared, Lensman studied it through field glasses. In front of the locomotive was a flat bed with an anti air mounted on it. With no threat from above, it had been traversed down for ground targets. Behind the locomotive were four passenger carriages, two boxcars with autogunners on top and another flatbed with an anti air.
�We take out the flatbed first. It will mean firing the explosives before the train reaches the loose section, but such is fate.� Lensman announced.
Salon.com News | Sniper’s gun remains a mystery Another bit in the ongoing ballistic fingerprinting debate.
You have to love a temp job where you turn up and the first thing they do is make sure you’ve got internet access. It’s all for work, of course, and doesn’t count when the connection’s been so crap for the last two days. I’m working at Wythenshawe hospital, a sprawling complex with institutional red brick building hived around by clunky functional concrete and shiny new steel and glass buildings. I’m getting way below my last rate, but it’s work.
The journey in in the morning involves a bus change at Wythenshawe bus terminus. It’s been six years since I was last in Wythenshawe and, if anything, the place has deteriorated in the mean time. The ‘town’ was originally conceived as a Garden City, a quaint thirties idea involving slapping a chunk of suburb into the countryside where there would be enough space for healthy open air-ness. Bad planning and the war meant that no real amenities were provided until the sixties when a dire shopping centre was poured into the town. Now, bits of the area look like warzones. It reminds me a little of Hulme in the early nineties, so there might be hope for regeneration.
Anyway, enough of that. Seeds–
�One of the prisoners heard a guard mention a troop train?�
Rey translated the question into Overall for Umat.
�Before sundown. That is all he knows. They would head for the siding south of here to let it pass.�
�We should move out.� Move suggested.
�We should. But��� Lensman surveyed the flat, featureless landscape. �If they decide to dismount and follow us, how far would we get before they caught us?�
Lensman turned back to Umat. �We have spare weaponry, and what came from the guards. How many of your men will fight.�
The question was only half translated when Umat answered, �All!�
Save for the arrhythmic clanging of hammers on metal spikes, the railroad crew worked in silence. They didn�t sing as they worked. A propaganda film crew had shot some footage of them once, but the musical number had been performed by traitors dressed up for the day. Now the Southern cities knew just how happy and well fed were the prisoners of war who toiled in the sun of the conquered plains.
Umat paused for a moment, closed his eyes and relished the shade of the boxcar. The guard would be along soon to prod him with the rifle barrel and insult him. It didn�t matter, he could feel the rain on his face. It fell in big warm drops. He smeared the liquid over his brow, then opened his eyes and stared at his fingers. They were red.
On the boxcar roof, both autogunners were slumped over their weapons, ragged exit wounds in their uniforms. There was a commotion on the other side of the railroad truck, the sound of gunfire. The guard who had escorted Umat back from the work detail was confused, looking around for someone to give him an order and stumbling closer to his prisoner.
Umat had been sent for more spikes to drive into the railroad sleepers. There was a bucket full of them in front of him. He dipped down, grabbed one and whirled on the guard. The spike buried deep in the Southerner�s chest. Umat watched the surprised expression with satisfaction before letting the soldier collapse.
An armed man, in a uniform Umat didn�t recognise, rounded the boxcar. Another came round the steam engine at the front of the service train. Umat raised his hands to show that he was unarmed and chained. The soldiers advanced on him. The one who had come around the boxcar lowered his gun and dug a small book out of a pocket. �We are here to free you.� He pronounced slowly.
The soldier flipped back a few pages, read something and smiled. �I speak Overall.� Umat announced. The soldier nodded, he understood the traders� language. �Do you?�
�Not with brilliance. But enough.�
One of the monoplanes had buzzed upstream earlier, low and full throttle. They had a long time to ponder the meaning of its transit whilst waiting for the next plane.
The big biplane sailed upriver at a much more leisurely pace. It couldn�t really travel any other way. Again the crew waved to the occupants of the small paddle boat as they passed.
�Do you think the other two are coming?� Marra asked.
�No.� Dack looked downstream. There was just the hint of smoke blowing into the gorge. �It will be dark soon.�
Marra piloted the boat through the rest of the minefield. When they were certain they had cleared it, Morn took a lighter from his pile of gifts and set fire to the map. He flapped it so the ashes were dispersed.
The smoke was thicker now. The sun disappeared behind hills and it was dark enough to move. Morn and Dack had oars at each side of the boat and Marra another at the rear. They let the current drive them, intervening with the oars if necessary.
They emerged from the gorge into a valley lit by fires. Ahead on the eastern bank the forest burned uncontrolled whilst figures rushed around the fires on the western bank. The corrals of logs had been smashed by some impact and fragments of wood were being caught by the current and drawn downstream.
The boat navigated into the stream of flotsam. No-one on shore was paying the river the slightest attention, so they rested at their posts and viewed the devastation as it passed them by.
BBC NEWS | UK | Britons ‘fail to name key figures’ I despair. I really do.
Mind you. I couldn’t name any of the Big Brother contestants or more than about five footballers.