Freesteel Blog » 2010 » March

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 at 7:38 pm - - Kayak Dive

So much to do, no time to do it. Meantime here is a nice relaxing kayak diving video taken earlier in the month. Anyone in the UK care to join us one day? Next trip is Land’s End, Cornwall. We might try to kayak dive the Runnel Stone.

Thursday, March 18th, 2010 at 12:36 pm - - Whipping 3 Comments »

I haven’t got time for this, not being a professional journalist investigator, but I’ve got the background material collected and would regret it if I never presented it.

What is Total Place?

Total Place, is an ambitious and challenging programme that [brings] together elements of central government and local agencies within a place…

This work weaves together two complimentary strands. A ‘counting’ process that will map money flowing through the place (from central and local bodies) and make links between services, to identify where public money can be spent more effectively.

This forms part of Sir Michael Bichard’s work on the Operational Efficiency Programme looking at the scope for efficiency savings in the public sector.[1]

Great! we thought. This map of money flowing through the place is exactly what we need to make the WhereDoesMyMoneyGo project a reality. Public money is the life-blood of the state, coursing through the arteries of institutions into centres of activity. Where there is money, there is life. Where there is not money, nothing happens because people have been drilled into believing: Why the hell should I do any work if I don’t get paid for it?

The issues behind Total Place are politically charged because this whole election is going to be about the budget deficit on account of the over-spend on public services.


Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 8:16 pm - - Machining 1 Comment »

I have a minimal library of trivial functions in my C++ code. Things like:

inline double Square(double x)
{  return x*x; }

inline double Len(const P3& a)
{  return sqrt(Square(a.x) + Square(a.y) + Square(a.z); }

inline P3 ConvertGZ(const P2& a, double z)
{  return P3(a.u, a.v, z); }

inline P2 operator*(const P2& a, double lam)  
{  return P2(a.u * lam, a.v * lam); }
   // note scalar multiplication on right. 

inline int Signum(double x)
{  return (x < 0.0 ? -1 : (x > 0.0 ? 1 : 0)); }

After years of it being pretty stable, I have discovered a new function that is worth adding:

inline Desig(double x, bool bpostive)
{  return (bpositive ? x : -x);  }

Here is how it looks in some real code:


Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 8:07 pm - - Whipping

Found in the bookshelf in the Kerrara Bunkhouse (on Kerrera Island, opposite Oban, Scotland), one National Geographic issue Vol. 156, No. 4, October 1979, bearing the article Harnessing Light by a Thread (Allen A. Boraiko). [their ancient publications interface somewhat poor].

Here is the relevant text from the article:


Monday, March 15th, 2010 at 12:58 am - - Cave, Kayak Dive, Weekends 1 Comment »

A bit of a hybrid video of two weekends in February, beginning with Becka’s idea of a good day out, and then mine. The sea was a lot colder than the cave, which is why Becka paddled away so quickly as soon as we surfaced. We were trying to test out our stuff prior to a diving trip to Scotland (video is coming).

This is Ireby, followed by the wreck of the Hermine near Trearddur Bay.

The survey of Ireby is also coming along, and we’re hoping that it will require substantial amendment once this mud mining is complete and Northeast Inlet is connected to True Grit, the survey errors are distributed around the loop, and the survey drawings are moved using the power of Tunnel.

Friday, March 5th, 2010 at 2:54 pm - - Kayak Dive, Weekends

I was pretty skeptical of the idea of diving in February, but someone from the Liverpool club copied the idea from the Manchester club and arranged to hire a chalet and leave the club boat in Oban for five weekends in a row.

And experiencied five weekends of surprisingly good weather.

We joined weekend four and decided to hang around doing a little kayak diving till the weather broke. We’re still here on Friday, mostly staying in the Oban backpackers and worrying whether our car will get broken into during the night. We did have one fine cold evening in the Kerrara bunkhouse that allowed us to paddle around the island over two days.

I regretfully failed to dive on the small island of Bache to the southwest of Kerrarra (too worried about currents that didn’t materialize), but we dived other places, most memorably in Clachen sound on a paddle from Clachan Bridge to Easedale.

This is the weather.

Here’s a closeup of the life on life underwater.

You can tell it’s a kayak dive because Becka is carrying the anchor.

This is from the weekend during a boat dive on the Thesus. No anchor necessary.

The conditions are pretty stunning and warm enough in the sun. The water at 7 degrees is bitterly cold and there are practically no fish (all off on their winter holidays). It’s very difficult to warm up after a dive, even with vigourous paddling.

Tomorrow we might check out Loch Fyne on our way home. And then back to work where things seem to get by quite well without me there to mess things up.