29 July 2006

JSU-152 Assault Gun

The JSU-152 assault gun, armed with a 152mm gun, mounted with a box-like superstructure on a JS-2 chassis.

Imperial War Museum: Duxford 2006 Posted by Picasa
Images!

I will be posting a lot of images of armoured vehicles and aircraft from the Imperial War Museum at Duxford, the Imperial War Museum at London, the Tank Museum at Bovington.

I will also be posting images of arms and armour from the Royal Armouries at Leeds, British Museum and a few other sources.

I love sketching nature. There will be a series on trees and other images of the wilderness. There will also images of the famous Yu Rock Garden in Shanghai.

I will also be publishing my doodles and sketches.

Oh yes, because of my interest in architecture, there will also be images of various building types from Shanghai, Singapore, London, Cambridge, Oxford and so forth.

Lastly, all images here are for sharing. Make of what you will. Feel free.
Sa'ar 5 Eilat Class Missile Corvette hit

The recent news on the Lebanonese front has led people to overlook the Israeli vessel which was damaged with four deaths. Now, the details are coming out.

Amazing! The Israeli vessel that suffered a missile strike was apparently a highly advanced Sa'ar 5 Eilat-class missile corvette. Sa'ar 5 no less! Not a Sa'ar 1, 2, 3, 4 or 4.5. A Sa'ar 5! Astounding. The Sa'ar 5 Eilat-class missile corvette hit was the IN Hanit.

It was reported that in an article from Jane's that the "warhead of the Iranian-supplied Noor anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) that hit Hanit off Lebanon on 14 July did not detonate. Even so, the missile - fired by Hizbollah forces - killed four crew and inflicted severe damage to the ship's flight deck and steering systems."

It is not in question that the missile was launched from a shore-based launcher, not unlike the land-based 'Silkworm' (Styx) SSMs used by the Iraqis. Now, new questions arise. How was the surface search conducted? What of target acquisition?

The Israelis cited an intelligence failure. It is not unlikely that the IN Hanit had detected the signal from the acquisition radar and had not responded as they either regarded the signal as unfamiliar or that the vessel regarded that it was not possible that the Hizbollah would possess such a weapon system.

It is ironic that the Israeli navy lost a destroyer named the Eilat a few decades ago to a Styx SSM.

More information on Jane's website indicated the following:

It was a "C-802 Noor (Tondar) radar-guided anti-ship missile..."

and

"The Noor, based on the Chinese C-802, was reported to have a 200 km range during manoeuvres conducted by the Iranian Navy in April 2005."

It is also noted that the various anti-missile CIWS were either inoperative or not activated.

"An initial debrief of the incident suggested that the Hanit was sailing without fully activating its Barak-point defence system. For other, undisclosed reasons, the Hanit's electronic countermeasures and electronic support measures, as well as the Vulcan Phalanx close-in weapon system failed to block or intercept the missile. "

If the C-802 Silkworm is the Chinese version of the 'Styx' with a 454kg HE hollow charge, why is the IN Hanit still afloat? Oh yes, I remember now, the 400-500kg warhead of the 2,300 kg missile didn't detonate.

The Israelis must be complacent as they had defeated the Arabs with their Styx-armed Komar class vessels in the seventies using shorter ranged Gabriel SSMs and terrain to mask their radar signatures. This time, the tables are turned as the Israelis are approaching from the sea and thus. The radar returns of the Styx or Silkworm should be familiar enough.

Besides the Iraqi and Iranian navies are known for their Silkworm arsenals. It is a wonder what the Syrians and Iranians are arming the Hizbollah.
David Gemmell dead

According to the BBC, David Gemmell has died at the age of 57. He died following bypass surgery.

I enjoyed his earlier work such as 'Legend' and 'Waylander' and have given up on his later ones. At this time, the first book of his planned trilogy on the Trojan War has been released. The second one is supposedly finished and is due out at the end of the year. I wonder if the publisher will employ a ghostwriter for the third.
Nitzer Ebb 'Body of Work'

The Nitzer Ebb 'Body of Work' retrospective is out! Forget the Cocteau Twins four-CD retrospective. This is the essential retrospective of the year.

Nitzer Ebb, is one of the pioneering EBM bands and has influenced many other bands besides Depeche Mode.

CD1:
1. Isn't It Funny How Your Body Works
2. Warsaw Ghetto
3. Murderous
4. Let Your Body Learn
5. Join in the Chant
6. Control I'm Here
7. Hearts and Minds
8. Captivate
9. Shame
10. Lightning Man
11. Fun to Be Had
12. Getting Closer
13. Family Man
14. Come Alive
15. I Give to You
16. Godhead
17. Ascend
18. Kick It
19. I Thought


CD2:
1. Get Clean
2. Joinh in the Chant (Gold!)
3. Control I'm Here [Strategic Dancefloor Initiative Mix]
4. Hearts and Minds [Mix Hypersonic]
5. Shame [Mix Two]
6. Captivate [William Orbit Mix]
7. Backlash [William Orbit Mix]
8. Fun to Be Had [Long Mix]
9. Out of Mind [Maitresse Mix]
10. Ascend [Remix]
11. Lakeside Drive [Remix]
12. Kick It [Popular Music Mix]
13. I Thought

28 July 2006

Books I'm currently reading

I am currently reading 'Cities' by John Reader. I was reading Colin Imber's 'The Ottoman Empire 1300-1650: The Structure of Power' and Carlos Ruiz Zafon's 'The Shadow of the Wind' before I started on 'Cities'. '

I am also reading one volume on artillery and one on tanks. I have also been reading a book on armoured vehicles developed by Vickers.


Cities' which "explores the city's raisons d'etre, functions and forms, its achievements and problems, from fortifications to sewers, factories to markets, theatres and bars." And the description at Amazon described that Cities "will investigate their parasitic relationship with the country around them, the webs of trade and immigration they inhabit, how they feed and water themselves and dispose of their wastes, focusing as much on Baron Haussman's creation of the Paris sewers as of his plans for the grand boulevards, on prostitution as on government, on human lives as on architecture, on markets as on cathedrals, in a sweeping exploration of what the city is and has been, fit to stand alongside Lewis Mumford's 1962 classic, "The City in History". "


Basically, the premise of 'Cities' is that the book seeks to explore the city within its environment.

I finished Arturo Perez-Reverte's 'The Fencing Master' two weeks ago. That was decent escapist fare. It was not particularly distinguished by any stretch of the imagination. If one were to read a Perez-Reverte book, read 'The Dumas Club' instead. The Fencing Master, however, is set in an interesting period in Spanish history when talk of revolution is rife.


Imber's study of the Ottoman Empire is about power structures including the state, the army, the navy and more. If one were a wargamer, this volume would be an ideal tome of source information.


I have started on 'False Gods' by Graham McNeill. So far, the second instalment of the Horus Heresy has been a drag. Warhammer 40, 000 is pulp fiction. Warhammer 40,000 novels is about action and maybe mythmaking as the Horus Heresy stories set within the Warhammer 40,000 are supposed to be.

'The Shadow of the Wind' is supposed to be very good. Again, the setting is in a turbulent period in Spanish history.

Anyway, I am always asking my friends and aquaintances as to what they are reading. Heheh. What are you guys reading now? Tell me tell me! Yes?
New Camouflage single 'Motif Sky' and album 'Relocated' to be released!

Finally, a new Camouflage release! A new Camouflage single 'Motif Sky' is due today and the new album 'Relocated' is due at the end of August. Camouflage has been the purveyor of excellent synthpop and electronic music since the release of their second album, 'Methods of Silence'. Initially, Camouflage was considered by many to be an excellent Depeche Mode clone after the release of their first album 'Voices and Images' with its poor English lyrics but excellent compositions. However, by the second album, 'Methods of Silence', Camouflage cleared up the poor language issues and managed to forge an identity of their own with a work with an oriental feel, 'Methods of Silence'. Since then, Camouflage has not looked back and has released numerous splendid albums.

I have always preferred Camouflage to Depeche Mode since the release of 'Methods of Silence' and if I were on a desert island and had to choose between Camouflage and Depeche Mode, you know where my Depeche Mode albums will go. In the sea. When Depeche Mode embraced a boring electro-blues direction with rock 'n roll pretensions and ceased being innovative in 1993, Camouflage remained adventurous with one release after another despite being overlooked. Camouflage just weren't delivering horrid stadium rock to the masses along the lines of U2, Depeche Mode, REM and their irk.

Tracklisting

1. Motif Sky
2. Real Thing (Longer)
3. Conversation (Non-Album Track)
4. Motif Sky (Extended Version)
5. Motif Sky (Smallboy Dub Remix)

Source: Camouflage Website: http://www.camouflage-music.com/en/news.php and Camouflage newsletter

27 July 2006


Silly me, dancing on the steps of St Paul's Cathedral.

Here I am, outside the British Museum with His Highness, the Emperor of the Cosmos.

Addendum: The Emperor has shown me the error of my ways, he has decreed that this be UCL, not the British Musuem. Actually, it is UCL. I recall it now. It's quite an amazing place really.

26 July 2006

Yet more from AK

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Remember how you said your kung fu could beat me up?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
And you said it's a reality?

AK says:
you're Bin Chuang! The Shylock Shymeister! Giver of fun! Torturer of laughter!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It was on my blog.

AK says:
yes yes

25 July 2006

On setting up a Blog

So, AK decided to set up a blog. He examined several alternatives.

AK says:
hey what's the blogging site for msn?

AK says:
was thinking of starting one

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
spaces.msn.com or soemthing

AK says:
would you read my blog?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Why not?

AK says:
bah i can't be bothered.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I didn't expect you to start one anyway.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You don't have it in you to post every day.

AK says:
oooo! a challenge!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Fighting words.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
But there's nothing behind it.

AK says:
fighting words?

AK says:
but i can beat you up.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I don't think you even have the will to start one.

AK says:
ahhhh anotehr challenge

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Is your blog up yet?

AK says:
ahahahahahahahahahahaha

AK says:
no.

24 July 2006

AK's Resolution

AK is such a gentleman. He made a resolution.

AK says:
i resolved btw, during lunch, between bites of my chicken wing, that i will be civil to you. no more inane rubbish.