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Ian Pattinson

Ian Pattinson's Public Library

22 Jul 13

Once again, the politicians have decided to enter into the “WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING! ANYTHING!” pissing contest over a race to block as much porn as possible in order to… do something involving children. The language of both sets of press quotes seems to conflate a hell of a lot of things with each other, so it’s kind of complicated unpicking exactly why they want to do each of the things they’re planning on doing.

21 Jul 13

Here’s what’s holding back 3D printing, the technology that’s supposed to revolutionize manufacturing and countless other industries: patents. In February 2014, key patents that currently prevent competition in the market for the most advanced and functional 3D printers will expire, says Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways.

These patents cover a technology known as “laser sintering,” the lowest-cost 3D printing technology. Because of its high resolution in all three dimensions, laser sintering can produce goods that can be sold as finished products.

17 Jul 13

The so-called "dark web," a shadowy part of the internet you haven't likely visited and won't find using Google, has become an online haven for anyone looking to buy or sell drugs, weapons or other illegal goods. And it's leaving law enforcement stumped.

17 Jul 13

In wartime, technology is driven by our shared weakness for violence. In 1939, the RAF was still sending biplanes into battle. By 1945 we had jets. Spitfires and stealth bombers are beautiful things because more design man-hours have been devoted to the technology of killing than into any other field of endeavour.

But in peacetime, sex is technology's primary driver. Even when the pornographers don't innovate they're early adopters. The first known fruity movie was made two years after the first moving pictures of any kind. It's been suggested that it was the greater availability of porn on VHS formats that helped it to win the video format wars over Betamax. And there's a reason why Polaroid's innovative camera that eliminated embarrassing trips to the chemist was called the Swinger.

17 Jul 13

Nico Ditch (occasionally Mickle Ditch or Nikker) is a six mile (9.7 km) long linear earthwork running between Ashton-under-Lyne and Stretford in Greater Manchester, England. It may have been dug as a defensive fortification, or possibly a boundary marker. It was constructed some time between the 5th and 11th centuries AD.

The ditch is still visible in short sections, such as a 300-metre stretch in Denton golf course. In the parts which survive, the ditch is 3–4 metres wide and up to 1.5 metres deep. Part of the earthwork is protected as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

17 Jul 13

What superheroes have in high morals and immense powers, they often lack in common sense, at least as regards to vehicles. That’s the only way to explain the plethora of weird, garish or outright idiotic superhero cars, jets and other nonsense clogging our nation’s highways and airspace. Here are 15 vehicles that were wrecks long before they hit the road.

13 Jul 13

Let's put this out there, right off the bat. Nuclear weapons are insane. Loony. Absolutely nuts. Usually though, someone somewhere can make an argument for their theoretical use that would involve maximum harm to the enemy with minimal damage to yourself. Sometimes, though, that equation goes wrong.

10 Jul 13

This 24-foot long diorama created by Brickmania, depicts the WWII Battle of Peleliu, complete with a 10-foot long USS LST-325 ship, tanks, Marines, sailors, bunkers, ambulances and supply trucks. The model is filled with so many amazing details and features, including a shark waiting in the waters for doomed minifig men.

09 Jul 13

The insanity of the early Cold War manifested itself perfectly in the Atomic Cannon, built by the US in the early '50s to shoot nukes out of artillery. It turns out that the Russians built a nuclear gun, too.

09 Jul 13

There are few professional sports as closely bound to technology as cycling. A bike isn't just equipment, as skiis or a tennis racket might be—it's a partner in a symbiotic relationship between the machine and athlete. And it's remarkable to see how drastically certain parts of that machine have changed in the last century, while others have stayed largely the same.

04 Jul 13

Karl Fiara’s Mk1 Escort is a trip back in time for me; sat here in the glorious sun of the recent Players Classic Show at Goodwood it transports me back around 20 years. To when you had to be at one of the big season-opening shows to see what everybody had been building during the winter, where you could catch up with friends without knowing how many laps of the Nurburgring they’d done the month before,when the excitement was tangible in the air and cars like this Escort two-door were more commonplace and that can only be a good thing.

03 Jul 13

Graeme Obree's nickname is the Flying Scotsman. He's a world champion bicyclist and he even had a film made about him. Now he's going for the human powered speed record with this. It's called Beastie and yes, this is a bicycle.

01 Jul 13

With 5 million square feet of leased warehouse, light-industry, and office space, and a network of more than two miles of rail lines and six miles of roads, SubTropolis is the world’s largest underground business complex—and one of eight or so in the area. To people along this stretch of the Missouri River, however, subterranean development also represents an innovative local way to save energy and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

01 Jul 13

The coyote, that cunning canine of wide-open spaces, has come to the nation's capital. And to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities. In fact, coyotes have spread to every corner of the United States, shifting their behaviors to fit new habitats and spurring researchers to cope with a worrisome new kind of carnivore: the urban coyote.
....
The coyote's affinity for life in the big city has surprised many researchers. But odder still is the coyote's propensity for breeding with wolves. Canine species within the genus Canis, which includes coyotes, wolves and domestic dogs, are capable of interbreeding, but they usually stick with their own kind. The "coywolf" hybrid is larger than a purebred coyote. It is found in northeastern Minnesota, southern Ontario and southern Quebec, Maine and New York. Researchers recently studied the genetic profiles of 100 coyotes killed by hunters in Maine. Of those animals, 23 had some wolf genes. Most crosses occur between male wolves and female coyotes. Some of the hybrids go on to mate with other hybrids, creating what one researcher calls a "hybrid swarm" that has the potential to evolve into a new species.

30 Jun 13

Located in the market town of Cockermouth in northern England’s Lake District, J.B.Banks & Son Ltd ironmongers and hardware shop was established in 1836. To date, this spellbinding shop has survived two serious floods and three truck crashes, and boasts a counter-top decorated with keys and pre-decimal coins, an ornate National Cash Register and an enchanting chiming clock.

23 Jun 13

“In 1964 the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) designed a hypersonic aircraft capable of flight at five times the speed of sound, nicknamed MUSTARD (Multi-Unit Space Transport And Recovery Device).

16 Jun 13

The Saro Cloud was a British passenger amphibian flying boat designed and built by Saunders-Roe as the A.19 and later produced as the A.29[1] for the Royal Air Force for pilot and navigator training.

16 Jun 13

The delightful brochure of the 1911-1912 Moisant Aviation School, with its handsome, gold embossed cover pictured here, features an airplane (possibly the one John built while in France - reported to be named the "Raven" or "Crow") flown by French-trained aviator, John Moisant, flying past the Statue of Liberty. The brochure, with its glowing, somewhat overblown descriptive commentary about the Moisant school, started this writer on a quest to explore the short but zestful aviation career of pioneer flyer, Matilde Moisant, the second woman pilot to receive licensing by the Aero Club of America. Matilde is depicted in the brochure as a student pilot and you just know there's a story lurking when she has the same name as the school. Material reprinted and quoted here is the result of researching documents, books and publications in my possession. Aviators of 1911 were a hardy lot, eagerly taking to the air to savor the new realm of man amongst the clouds. These flyers didn't consider themselves pioneers but were merely jumping on the bandwagon of adventure, hoping to make a living by exhibiting the wonders of flight to the uninitiated throughout the world. Read on and experience an era that can never be sampled again by man (or woman).

16 Jun 13

This site charts the history of the Sunderland Flying Boat factory that once stood on the shores of Windermere in the heart of the English Lake District, and the nearby settlement specially constructed to house the factory workers and their families, known as Calgarth Estate.

It contains historical documents and photographs of the factory and the estate and features the voices of the people who worked and lived in this remarkable community.

15 Jun 13

Actually, while "stealth motorcycle" sounds like something from a 10-year-old boy's imagination or everyone's favorite 80s show Street Hawk, the electric MMX bike being developed by Zero Motorcycles actually make a ton of sense, according to this report in RT.

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