(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘submarine

“Roads are a record of those who have gone before”*…


From the “Data is Beautiful” thread on Reddit,  Tjukanov‘s rendering (from OpenStreetMap) of “All The Roads and Nothing But Roads.”

See also his “Optimal routes by car from the geographic center of the contiguous United States to +3000 counties.”

* Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking


As we gas up, we might spare a thought for Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel; he died on this date in 1633.  The Edison of his era, he was an empirical researcher and innovator whose constructions and innovations covered measurement and control technology, pneumatics, optics, chemistry, hydraulics and pyrotechnics.  He was known for his Perpetuum Mobile ( a clock), an incubator for eggs, a portable stove/oven able to hold heat at a constant temperature by means of a regulator/thermostat, his design of a solar energy system for London (perpetual fire), his demonstration of air-conditioning, his creation of lightning and thunder “on command,” and and his construction of fountains and a fresh water supply for the city of Middelburg.  He was involved in the draining of the moors around Cambridge (the Fens), developed a predecessors of the barometer and thermometer, and built a harpsichords that played on solar energy.

But he is perhaps best remembered as the architect and builder of the first navigable submarine.  Created for the British Navy, it was tested at depths of 12-15 feet, and could stay submerged for up to three hours (air tubes with floats went to the surface to provide the craft with oxygen).




Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 7, 2017 at 1:01 am

As high as an elephant’s eye…

Down in the southeastern corner of The Hawkeye State, near Fairfield, lies the lively town of Maharishi Vedic City, Iowa.  Incorporated in 2001, it is home to 1,290 folks, who occupy buildings all designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture (which promotes peace and harmony).  The city, home to the Institute for Natural Medicine and Prevention and The Raj—an Ayurvedic health spa and vegetarian restaurant– is situated amidst 2,200 acres of USDA-certified organic farm land (and is the only city in America that has banned the sale of all non-organic food within the city limits).  And it is the site of the Vedic Observatory, the only such astronomical facility in the Western Hemisphere.

Maharishi Vedic City is administered by a five-person city council, which is committed to balance, natural law and the principals of the Veda; while Sanskrit has been named the city’s “ideal language,” English and other common languages are also used.

Maharishi Vedic City has yet to be an official stop of any presidential hopeful on the Iowa Caucus trail.


As we we just say om, we might send steamy birthday greetings to a man with a powerful hand in Iowa’s economic growth, Robert Fulton; he was born on this date in 1765.  The mechanical genius who was the father of the steamboat, Fulton turned early, unreliable steam engine technology into a practical, dependable option for river transport– famously along the Mississippi, which defines Iowa’s eastern border, and which provided the territory’s (later, state’s) corn and other crops a path to market.  Fulton later designed the Nautilus, the first practical submarine in history, for Napoleon; created the first naval torpedoes for the British Navy, and the first steam-powered warship for the U.S. Navy.


Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 14, 2013 at 1:01 am

Your favorite star of yore…

Rides a Bike.

Whoever that star is…  many, many others at Rides a Bike.  (Readers interested in emulation of the most stylish sort, click here for Public Bikes and here for the Public blog.)

As we jingle our bells, we might recall that this is an anniversary with multiple significance for other forms of transportation…

This is the birthday (1743) of John Fitch– who, though little remembered– created serviceable steamboats before Robert Fulton did.


It was on this date in 1954 that the first atomic submarine, the U.S.S. Nautilus, was launched at Groton, Connecticut.


Then, on this date in 1970 the first wide-body jet went into service, when a Pan American Airways Boeing 747 flew its virgin flight between from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport and Heathrow Airport in London, England.


And on this date in 1976, the supersonic Concorde, developed in a joint venture between the French and the English, was put into service; the first two Concordes with commercial passengers simultaneously  left London’s Heathrow Airport (for Bahrain) and Orly Airport outside Paris (for Rio de Janeiro via Senegal).


Up, Up, and Away…

Czech-born artist Klara Hobza has one foot firmly planted in the past; the other, equally firmly placed in the future.

Hobza has has just published The New Millennium Paper Airplane Book,

…a collection of some of the artist’s favorite paper airplanes and stories by their creators, gathered from The New Millennium Paper Airplane Contest exhibition, held at the New York Hall of Science in Queens, New York, in 2008. This project was itself an homage to the historic paper airplane contest that took place in 1967 at the same venue–which, in a note of minor irony, was built to display rockets for the 1964 World’s Fair. The competition was open to the public, and participants were invited to fly their planes in a number of judging categories including distance flown, duration aloft, beauty, spectacular failure and children’s designs.

source: Susan Coolen

Each page is designed to be torn out and folded into the flyer that it describes (and– for those, like your correspondent, needing a little extra help– a complete list of step-by-step folding instructions is included).

As we concentrate on the optimal point of release, we might look spare a commemorative second to look down, as it was on this date in 1776 that the first submarine attack occurred.  In anticipation of the Battle of Kips Bay, the Turtle— a hand-powered, egg-shaped submersible designed by David Bushnell– tried and failed to sink the British warship HMS Eagle, flagship of the blockaders in New York harbor; the explosives attached to the Eagle‘s hull weren’t sufficient to tank it.  Still, the mission was a success:  the mysterious blast in the night frightened the British, and they withdrew almost immediately.

source: Wikimedia

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