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  • Yeah the submariners had a horrific death rate.







  • Yeah the submariners had a horrific death rate.




    They really had.
    My Step-Grandfather was a U-Boater in the late war.
    He then escaped East Germany, became an engineer and helped set up krups in Limerick,where he and my Grandmother hooked up.

    He led an interesting life!




  • This is my tank.
    W H Goss the crest is Portsmouth and the legend underneath reads "England expects every tank will do it's damndest"

    516760.JPG




  • People might remember a few posts back I was talking about my love of mechanical keyboards - my latest "hobby" - it's something I can't believe I didn't get into considering how much time I spend at the keyboard everyday.

    Anyhow - finally some additional keycaps have arrived from Unicomp (the people who make the IBM Model Ms nowadays) - thought people might be interested in seeing what that's all about:

    f0Aw5igl.jpg

    New keys are the "pebble" coloured ones.

    Y01e24wl.jpg

    Difference is that they're double capped instead of single.

    I6elxfBl.jpg

    See the double cap construction.

    7SMwijGl.jpg

    Vs the single piece - technically it makes it easier to print custom keycaps or switch the layout of the keyboard if say you're a German and want to use Qwertz or if you're uber efficient and want to use a Dvorak layout.... for me it's also fun just to take off the top cap every so often :o

    HT0ZSRil.jpg

    Most of the keys have been replaced from single caps to double caps - it's a feature of the Model Ms that most modern mechanical keyboards don't have.

    and MsThirdfox collected the box from the post man asking - "what's up with the keyboard? It's just a purely functional thing so why do you have 3 of them?" - but she "got it" once I asked her about her functional bags :D

    ...plus - it helps if you can suck them into your hobby too - this is MsThirdfox's keyboard now:

    wusHVifl.jpg

    kFuwIlnl.jpg

    She's a fan of the feel (saying she can't believe how bad her laptop keys feel in comparison now) and the pretty lights :D (these were cheap custom keycaps ordered for $15 delivered from Aliexpress - called "pudding keys" since it looks like a light pudding with dark top and light base).




  • blue5000 wrote: »
    Is the next meet up going to be at Wibbs' gaff?

    I collect vintage swimwear:rolleyes:

    No seriously, I do a bit of blacksmithing in my spare time.



    This is a poker with a wizard head handle for halloween.

    Sort of related to blacksmithing, I've been trying a bit of bog iron ore smelting as well using charcoal as fuel, in a hand built clay furnace. As one of the professional blacksmiths said after his first smelt 'I normally buy iron in 20ft lengths'.:D

    517002.jpg

    More pics here, https://www.furnacefestival.org/

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.



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  • That's a fine bit of modelling for the clay furnace.:eek::) At the beginnings of the metal age the first guys to bring smelting of copper and later iron turning by fire lumps of stone into this new lustrous material never before seen in nature must have seemed like powerful magicians.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    That's a fine bit of modelling for the clay furnace.:eek::) At the beginnings of the metal age the first guys to bring smelting of copper and later iron turning by fire lumps of stone into this new lustrous material never before seen in nature must have seemed like powerful magicians.

    Bronowski's seminal lecture series "The ascent of man" has an episode called the hidden structure that addresses it as just that.

    Part of the episode is about the creation of a katana.

    It's nearly 50years old, some of the science has moved on but it is one of the finest monograms on anthropology and scientific development ever put together IMO.

    The portion of the series from Auschwitz should be required viewing.

    The entire art of smelting and learning temperature and alloy be radiated colour is magical really imo.

    So much we have can be traced to fire and it's altering of material.
    It's fascinating.




  • The ascent of man is a fantastic documentary.

    Dead right on how fire changed us as a species and going back a million years with it. Cooking alone physically changed us as a species. Made our guts shorter, our teeth smaller, our stomach acid weaker. Then we used fire to harden wood, make the first compound glue and change the properties of the flint we worked. Kept animals away at night too, never mind allowed us to move to colder areas.

    Well that's another hobby of mine I suppose. Early man, though Neandertals are my fave ever since I was a kid when I found one of their stone tools on holiday with my folks. I'd have over two hundred such tools now, going back as far as two million years, collected from different sources over the last few decades.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    The ascent of man is a fantastic documentary.

    It's shít like that....!
    That is giving Mrs Banie license to call you Watch husband :pac:

    It really is an exceptional piece of TV, if anyone wants it?
    Drop me a PM and I'll sort out a link.

    But yeah Wibbs, you are right the impact fire has had from our physical evolution through to the baking of silicon wafers is akin to sorcery.

    Neolithic tools! Another interesting hobby you have there btw!
    I defy anyone who thinks cavemen were less smart than modern humans to Knapp a flint!!!




  • Have fond memories of reading clan of the cave bear when I was younger.


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  • banie01 wrote: »
    It really is an exceptional piece of TV, if anyone wants it?
    Drop me a PM and I'll sort out a link.
    Will PM you now...on a nightshift babysitting servers so could do with something decent to watch :)




  • Will PM you now...on a nightshift babysitting servers so could do with something decent to watch :)

    Only seeing this and your PM now.
    Will send it on to you now, sorry I missed it earlier.




  • banie01 wrote: »
    Only seeing this and your PM now.
    Will send it on to you now, sorry I missed it earlier.
    Thanks Banie...no problems at all. I'll watch itr later tonight.




  • Just downloaded the accent of man from banie (thanks). Any other good documentries I should be watching (have the World at War on DVD :))




  • The Vietnam War by Ken Burns is good viewing. 10 episodes that are all feature length so it'll keep you occupied for a few days.

    It's currently on Netflix.




  • hitemfrank wrote: »
    The Vietnam War by Ken Burns is good viewing. 10 episodes that are all feature length so it'll keep you occupied for a few days.

    It's currently on Netflix.

    Anything by Ken Burns is good viewing




  • hitemfrank wrote: »
    The Vietnam War by Ken Burns is good viewing. 10 episodes that are all feature length so it'll keep you occupied for a few days.

    It's currently on Netflix.
    Cienciano wrote: »
    Anything by Ken Burns is good viewing

    I'd agree with this in the main, but I thought Jazz was poor.
    The Civil War if you haven't seen it yet really is a must watch, Senna, Penn & Teller, Bull****, BBC's The Great War (Really fantastic and the prototype for all the other living memory Docu's IMO), Any of the 30 for 30 ESPN docu's, even when you arent into the sport itself, really compelling stories. Pain, Pus and Poison(Any of the Max Mosley Stuff actually), The Brain with David Eagleman, Lots of the Channel 4 oneshot docu's are quite good too.




  • Or you could try reading a book, just saying.




  • Or you could try reading a book, just saying.

    Any suggestions?




  • banie01 wrote: »
    Any suggestions?

    Ken Burns biography :pac:

    It's sad to say, since audiobooks and podcasts came about, I haven't read a book in about 10 years! An audiobook I can listen to when driving, or doing housework.
    If you're interested in history, Dan Carlin's hardcore history podcasts are brilliant.


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  • banie01 wrote: »
    Any suggestions?

    Recently read 'Into the Silence, the Great War, Mallory and the conquest of Everest' by Wade Davis.
    Very interesting and wide ranging history covering the British in Tibet, surveying expeditions from India, WWI, the redemptive post-WWI British attempts to 'conquer' Everest and the deaths of Mallory & Irvine.




  • https://www.amazon.com/Great-Game-Struggle-Central-Kodansha/dp/1568360223

    If you're into history then this is a recommended read also - charts an interesting history into areas we don't learn a lot about in Irish history class.

    I was always that contrarian nerd back in school - Teacher: "write an essay about an ancient civilisation" Me: "Is ancient China ok?" No... "What about ancient Egpytians?" No... "What about South American civilisations?" Teacher: "just pick Rome or Greece" :D




  • Cienciano wrote: »
    Ken Burns biography :pac:

    It's sad to say, since audiobooks and podcasts came about, I haven't read a book in about 10 years! An audiobook I can listen to when driving, or doing housework.
    If you're interested in history, Dan Carlin's hardcore history podcasts are brilliant.

    Can't argue with the 1st suggestion I suppose! :pac:

    I've never gotten into audio books tbh, but what I have found very handy for study is the read aloud feature or TTS. Reading legal notes and legislation just turns to blah, blah sometimes and the TTS makes it far easier.

    Don Carlin's podcast is excellent, but at 3hrs + an episode it can sometimes be an awful slog to get through.
    Mike Duncan's history of Rome podcast is also quite good and Fin Dwyer's Irish history podcast does a fair job of trying to present a balanced Irish history.
    Recently read 'Into the Silence, the Great War, Mallory and the conquest of Everest' by Wade Davis.
    Very interesting and wide ranging history covering the British in Tibet, surveying expeditions from India, WWI, the redemptive post-WWI British attempts to 'conquer' Everest and the deaths of Mallory & Irvine.

    That's added to my "to read" list.
    A lot of what I'm reading at the moment is history,
    Recently finished SPQR by Mary Beard and Tom Holland's Dynasty and Persian Fire and Shadow of the
    Persian Fire needs to be read with an implicit awareness of Holland's pro-western bias.

    The shadow of the sword in particular is meticulously researched and gives a very strong counterpoint to the longstanding belief that Islam arose in the full light of history.
    It gives a really fascinating insight from the rise of the Arabs, their embrace of a warrior religion and their 2 centuries of near unfettered conquest.

    In a very much related fiction book, I'm currently re-reading Dune...
    Again ;)

    Almost forgot...
    Letters to a law student, and Burne and McCutcheons on the Irish legal system, followed by bouts of self doubt and coffee! :pac:




  • Thirdfox wrote: »
    https://www.amazon.com/Great-Game-Struggle-Central-Kodansha/dp/1568360223

    If you're into history then this is a recommended read also - charts an interesting history into areas we don't learn a lot about in Irish history class.

    I was always that contrarian nerd back in school - Teacher: "write an essay about an ancient civilisation" Me: "Is ancient China ok?" No... "What about ancient Egpytians?" No... "What about South American civilisations?" Teacher: "just pick Rome or Greece" :D
    :D I hear that. Hell, even closer to home it always fascinated me how the Byzantine empire was almost completely ignored in our history. Greece, Rome, then Rome falls and "dark ages". Completely ignoring that the Eastern Roman Empire didn't fall until the 15th century. Like it never existed. Maybe it ruined the whole Great Rome fell left us in the dark until the renaissance narrative. And don't get me started on the dark ages. :D
    banie01 wrote: »
    Recently finished SPQR by Mary Beard and Tom Holland's Dynasty and Persian Fire and Shadow of the
    Persian Fire needs to be read with an implicit awareness of Holland's pro-western bias.

    The shadow of the sword in particular is meticulously researched and gives a very strong counterpoint to the longstanding belief that Islam arose in the full light of history.
    It gives a really fascinating insight from the rise of the Arabs, their embrace of a warrior religion and their 2 centuries of near unfettered conquest.
    Beard's SPQR is a great book alright. The shadow of the sword another and yep it's another blindspot for western historians. The assumption and wide acceptance that the internal narrative of early Islam is taken at face value. So you have some western historians do the critical analysis thing and question if Jesus actually existed, even though writings of people who knew him in life are extant, yet Mohammed is seen as most definitely an historical figure, yet the first biography of his comes along at least a century and a half after he died. The only contemporary source barely deserves the title and it could be anyone, the internal narrative has them dealing with the Byzantines, yet the Byzantines are strangely silent on the matter until much later and none of the well known place names within the narrative show up on contemporary maps, mainly because they were way off the trade routes in the middle of nowhere. What is incredible is how a small band of largely illiterate traders and tribes from the middle of nowhere joined up and spread out and built an incredible empire and culture in a very short time.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Remembering of course that the "Bzyantians" considered themselves fully "Roman" - never called themselves Byzantines - that was a later name for them give to them by others.

    Oh if people like audiobooks - this is one masssive audio history of Rome:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItwGz43a_ak&list=PLmhKTejvqnoOrQOcTY-pxN00BOZTGSWc3

    Around 72 hours of wonderful history.




  • Thirdfox wrote: »
    Remembering of course that the "Bzyantians" considered themselves fully "Roman" - never called themselves Byzantines - that was a later name for them give to them by others.

    Oh if people like audiobooks - this is one masssive audio history of Rome:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ItwGz43a_ak&list=PLmhKTejvqnoOrQOcTY-pxN00BOZTGSWc3

    Around 72 hours of wonderful history.

    The Caliphate and the Ottoman also considered them Roman.
    I have 1453 and another more complete history of Byzantium here that I've yet to read but whose name escapes me.

    The exploits of Belisarius, Justinian and the creation of the codified Roman law are one of my very favourite chapters of history.
    Only Heraclius victory over the Sassanids after his campaign on their soil stands with it IMO.He did a Hannibal, and actually subdued the enemy empire!

    But the reign of Justinian...
    Wagging the dog with foreign wars, reconquest of the old empire and a superpower struggle with the Sassanids.
    A struggle that left a vacuum for the Arabs to explode into.
    All counterpoised with extreme domestic unrest, plague, vanity building projects and the anarchy,riots and a near abdication.

    Was IMO one of the highpoints of Byzantium and I forget which historian said it, but to paraphrase...
    The dying gasps of an empire are often its highest.

    It's also a lesson for current Geo-political worries and the unforeseen costs of victory.




  • Don't forget the ladies though - Theodora has probably as big (if not bigger) impact on Justinian's reign - and kept the empire from falling apart during the plague/coma... didn't let him run during the riots... and she started life as an actress(!) (considered a ultra lowly profession back in Roman times).

    Justinian's father was a farmer who became emperor I believe - say what you like - but that's some rags to riches story (and based on merit too from what I've read).




  • Theodora was some woman alright. Though it seems "actress" was a euphemism, as it has often been, for what was seen as a lady of variable virtue. IIRC when she was not far off 16 she had shacked up with a guy many years her senior and maybe had a child with him. Then ends up meeting Justinian and he faced some resistance to marrying her. It was illegal for anyone of high born status to marry an actress. He changed the law, as you do. She brought in a load of laws herself that pertained to women. She made pimping illegal, but not prostitution directly. Went after the pimps and madams not the women themselves. Very wise. She also drafted anti corruption laws and was a big influence on her husbands legal changes like making rape a capital crime.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Cienciano wrote: »
    Dan Carlin's hardcore history podcasts are brilliant.

    Dan Carlin's podcasts are excellent. Blueprint for Armageddon was especially very well done. My wife was just after having our first child when I listened to the letters from the Somme section of the podcast on my way to work.

    The letter from a Captain to his wife and new born baby about not fearing for his own life, but regretting that if he's killed he will not be able to help is wife raise his child, guide her through growing up, and being the father he knew she would need was hearth wrenching. When Dan states that he was KIA after going over the top the very next day really got to me.

    I had to take a few minutes in my car to compose myself before starting work. I don't think I talked to anyone until the afternoon and gave my wife and daughter a massive hug when I got home.

    Podcasts are very good at depicting emotions that you just don't seem to get from reading prose.


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  • oxocube wrote: »
    Dan Carlin's podcasts are excellent. Blueprint for Armageddon was especially very well done. My wife was just after having our first child when I listened to the letters from the Somme section of the podcast on my way to work.

    The letter from a Captain to his wife and new born baby about not fearing for his own life, but regretting that if he's killed he will not be able to help is wife raise his child, guide her through growing up, and being the father he knew she would need was hearth wrenching. When Dan states that he was KIA after going over the top the very next day really got to me.

    I had to take a few minutes in my car to compose myself before starting work. I don't think I talked to anyone until the afternoon and gave my wife and daughter a massive hug when I got home.

    Podcasts are very good at depicting emotions that you just don't seem to get from reading prose.
    He does some amount of research, and as you said, the personal stories really make it. There was one about guarding a fort in Belgium and the artillery kept missing them. They were all laughing and joking until it stopped and the germans adjusted their aim. Some crazy stuff. I think there was one on the french line and one artillery shell killed 70 people who were at a mass. Or people falling into artillery craters and can't get out because it's too muddy and no one can help them, so it's just 2 or 3 days of them moaning until they die.
    Blueprint for Armageddon is my favorite one too. The whole intro about who is the most important person in history is brilliantly done.

    Wrath of the Kahns is shorter but brilliantly done too.


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