Q. Why is your Tumblelog called "My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck by Lightning"?
A. Because "My Grandmother's Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck by Lightning" wouldn't fit in the available space.
Experiments in the Principles of Space Travel (1955)
From Dreams of Space.
the-great-gau8-in-the-sky asked: Cool, seems I attracted notes from the smarter side of Tumblr then.
ETA: reblogging this detailed rebuttal from an ex-RAF man, for much wider attention; because when Peter gets this exercised about something, it’s important. (NB: this is also the only SF writer I know who has actual training as a fighter/bomber pilot. Ask him what he really thinks about the management of fighters in Star Wars, sometime. Then stand back. :) )
Ever wonder the proper method to attack a tight formation of enemy planes by yourself?
GAAAH No No NO NO NO!
This early-war nonsense is what killed so many fine young pilots over France in 1940. These bloody diagrams were based on assuming that OURPLANE worked just like THEiRPLANE.
Most important in dating this image: Jerry did not fly in tight three-plane Vee (vic) formation, but in wide pairs-of-pairs (the FINGER-FOUR that everybody uses nowadays. look it up in Google) each watching the other’s back. The RAF oh-so-neat close vic meant you were so busy watching your close-formation wingman to avoid collision, you missed THEIRPLANE sliding under your tail until you were hit with…
The guns you didn’t expect. RAF assumed (1939/40, date of this drawing) that Messerschmitt Bf109s had 7.92mm wing machineguns, as in Spain three years before.
They had been replaced by 20mm cannon. For extra fun,. RAF planes had no back armour until 1940, so even machineguns were bad. Cannon-shells were small high velocity handgrenades, so since your reserve fuel tank was behind the instrument panel, right in front of your face, if a cannon-shell made it blow, you were toast. Though since it might have just passed though you and blown behind your sternum, you might be toast tartare. If you were lucky. Otherwise, broiling from 20,000 feet to impact is a lengthy, painful way to go.)
RAF assumed that because their planes used carburettors in the (excellent) Merlin engines, Jerry used carburettors in their Daimler-Benz 601 engines.
Jerry was using fuel injection. Result in the above diagram, Hurricane “dives under them”, its engine stutters because negative G flicks the fuel to the top of the carburettor chamber and the engine hiccups, it loses a few MPH and by the time you reach the dot on the line of “swoops upward…” a couple of Bf 109s have half-rolled, dived under and are hacking it apart with those cannon. (Remember where the reserve tank lives? Pack sunscreen.)
THIS DIAGRAM IS HOW TO KILL YOUR HERO.
What you do head-on is this - target one or two of the first rank of enemy aircraft (closing speed 400-600 MPH, so you’ll need balls of steel). When their wingtips fill the sight reticule and your eight guns, zeroed to about 200 yards, are putting every round into the space of a penny, hit them with everything for about a second. If you have time, pick another EA and do it again. Engine is good, guns are good, but try to mince the pilot because he’s the computer for flight control and gunnery.
Now half-roll, pull the stick tight into your gut, establish an accelerating 45-degree dive so they can’t catch you without lots of effort, and RUN AWAY. You aren’t a hero, you’re a survivor who will do this trick again tomorrow. Or this afternoon…
You’ve nailed one or two, and all right they aren’t bombers who can hurt your folk on the ground, they’re fighters -but you may just have made it easier for whoever’s going after the bombers to get through a reduced fighter screen and chop a bomber, or make one jettison its bombload on a meadow not a school, or just decide Too Many, Not Today.)
MY dad was a tailgunner in the South Pacific during WW2. Something tells me he knew this, which makes me wish I had to write a scene like this when he was alive.
Sorry sorry I just thought it was a neat picture so I posted it with a witty caption expecting to get like two notes as usual but now someone got pissed off at me and there are 300+ notes and most of them are reblogging people being angry at me I’m sorry what do I do now I don’t want to be remembered as one of those douches on Tumblr. What do I do.
People aren’t getting angry at you - they are annoyed by the original image creator and his foolhardy and dangerous plan. Frankly don’t sweat it.
~ Singleton’s Nashville Business Directory, 1865
“Attached to the ST. NICHOLAS RESTAURANT is a RIFLE and PISTOL GALLERY, a BILLIARD SALOON, splendidly furnished with Sofas, containing eight of the Latest Style and Improved Billiard Tables; also, a fine TEN-PIN SALOON. A BAR, well supplied with pure Old Brandies, Whiskies, Wines, Ales, Cigars and Tobacco.”
I like it. Have a meal then wind down shooting a few targets on the rifle gallery.
This photo from a 1938 issue of National Geographic captioned, “Anne and her family lived alone on an island. She enjoyed having tea time with her friends the spiny lobster and baby hawk.”
from Tom Strong #6
words by Alan Moore
art by Dave Gibbons
Andrey Yakovlev, Lili Aleeva