13 January 2007

A34 Cruiser Tank, Comet


The Comet was the last of the cruiser tanks put into volume production in the Second World War but saw limited action from September 1944. Armed with a 77mm* gun, the Comet almost matched the Panther in firepower and mobility.



*In reality, a 76.2 mm gun, a variant of the 17-pounder.

Imperial War Museum, Duxford: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Shower You with Good Thoughts

From a conversation on MSN Messenger:

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Good morning Fiend Kuoby!

AK (Silver) says:
hello sir

AK says:
how are you today

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Great. How is your Kuoby today?

AK says:
it's fine thank you.

AK says:
can you smell that?

AK says:
it's the smell of change for the better

AK says:
it's the new year. i'm reforming.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
That is good to hear. I fear it may be too late.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
You are already residing in the depths of Hell.

AK says:
oh i won't be goaded by you

AK says:
i shall endeavour to reform you too. to be a nicer, all round chap

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
How would you do that when you are dead and in hell?

AK says:
i shall think very hard

AK says:
i shall shower you with good thoughts from afar!

AK says:
here goes.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
WOW!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I can't wait!

AK says:
anything on your side?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Nope.

AK says:
ok hang on. trying a different frequency.
A fine Saturday

I was at Borders last night when I picked up the new Apoptygma Berzerk release 'The Black EP'. Hmm.. A bunch of remixed Apoptygma Berzerk tracks, some previously released, some apparently new. I'm not expecting great things. Anyway, I will try to keep an open mind when I listen to this. The new APB album of cover versions , 'Sonic Diary', will probably be interesting. The first single is apparently Kim Wilde's old classic 'Cambodia'. As much as I like Kim Wilde, I can't imagine Stephan Groth singing 'Cambodia'. What has happened to this Norwegian band? It was once a terrific band.

Books are at 40% off with a coupon at Borders over this weekend and the next weekend.

I have a dentist appointment after work today. It looks like I will be missing Ken's Singapore Opening Gaming (SOG) session yet again. Pity. It's been a while since I was at one of the gaming sessions.

I will probably meet up with Wilson at Vivocity today. From the looks of it, with the overcast skies and ominous and angry, low-hanging, grey clouds, it will rain throughout the day. It will make travelling an interesting proposition.

12 January 2007

Friday

It's Friday again! WOO!
Goodbye David Beckham

It does appear that David Beckham has ended his 'Real' career. It is a great pity. A wasted talent.
Crescent and Cross: The Battle of Lepanto


Having read Capponi's 'Victory of the West', I have started on Hugh Bicheno's 2004 book.

11 January 2007

2-cm Flak 30 20-mm Light Anti-Aircraft Gun



The Flak 30, entering service in 1935, was a Rheinmetall-Borsig product that became the bane of Allied aircraft. The Flak 30 was reasonably effective in the early part of the war but as the war continued, the rate of fire was found to be inadequate again increased aircraft speeds.

The cyclic rate of fire was 280 rpm with a maximum effective ceiling of 2200m.


Imperial War Museum, London: July 2006 Posted by Picasa
Japanese drawing pad from the seventies



Note the futuristic themes. The paper has yellowed somewhat.

10 January 2007

Books I'm reading


I'm usually reading too many books at the same time. I have managed to focus and have dropped everything else. So, I'm now reading 'Victory of the West: The Story of the Battle of Lepanto' by Niccolo Capponi and 'Fortune's Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street" by William Poundstone.



With regards to gambling, unlike most ethnic Chinese, I don't gamble. And that is not because of moral or religious reasons. The reason is relatively simple. I don't enjoy most games of chance. Posted by Picasa
Quotes from an essay "Beware the Online Collective' by Jaron Lanier

"Here's the idea in a nutshell: Let's start with an observation about the whole of human history, predating computers. People have often been willing to give up personal identity and join into a collective. Historically, that propensity has usually been very bad news. Collectives tend to be mean, to designate official enemies, to be violent, and to discourage creative, rigorous thought."

and

"In the last few years, though, a new twist has appeared. Along with all the sites that encourage individual expression, we are seeing a flood of schemes that celebrate collective action by huge numbers of bland, anonymous people. A lot of folks love this stuff. My worry is that we're playing with fire."

and

"There are a lot of recent examples of collectivity online. There's the Wikipedia, which has absorbed a lot of the energy that used to go into individual, expressive websites, into one bland, master description of reality."
Dude with a veil - AK (Silver)

AK says:
i don't understand you

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
never mind.

AK says:
i never do!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
It's up.

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
On my blog.

AK says:
i have no time for your blogs

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Can I use your full name now that you have gone to hell?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Instead of AK?

AK says:
you have no permission at all

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Hahahaha. Still in hiding, eh? Afraid eh?

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
I shall respect that you lack balls.

AK says:
you really should change your msn picture

AK says:
it's quite ugly

AK says:
nay, let me change that opine, it's fugly!

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
Well, coming from you who is using one of a dude wearing a veil...

AK says:
it's a cylon

Chuang Shyue Chou says:
If you say so.

09 January 2007

Green Flash

A few nights ago, my sister said she saw a green flash in the sky. I thought it was a meteor. Well, it could not have been St Elmo's Fire. Wikipedia describes the Green Flash as:

"Green flashes and green rays are rare optical phenomena that occur shortly after sunset or before sunrise, when a green spot is visible for a short period of time above the sun, or a green ray shoots up from the sunset point."

Astounding! I would have loved to see it.

Addendum

My sister is certain. It is a meteor. Not the rare Green Flash or Green Ray.