Saturday, April 1, 2017

100 years History of tanks

tank
Honour 100th Anniversary of Tanks

On the morning of September 15 1916, the first tank had rolled across a battled when the British forces had attacked the positions of the German 28th Reserve Infantry Regiment at Flers-Courcelette together with 32 tanks to destroy the stalemate on the Somme.

In order to honour the 100th anniversary of the memorable event, Claire Apthorp recalls over the evolution of tanks in the U.K.The tanks which had traversed to no man’s land in the German territory on September 15, 1916 morning had developed from an experimental modeleestablished the previous year by Fosters of Lincoln called `Little Willie’.

This vehicle consisted of components created and built by various industrialists which drew on advanced technologies under the earlier projects.It had been constructed on unsuspended track frame, fitted with non-rotatable dummy turret having a machine gun mount which was 8 m long and needed two men to drive it.

 One was for steering, clutch, gear box together with throttle operation while the other was for the brakes and four to control the armament. It has been protected with boiler plate which could travel no quicker than two miles per hour. An upgraded model to be known as Big Willie and thereafter, Mother used a rhomboid track frame which enabled the tracks to travel around the vehicle.

Turret Substituted with Armament

The turret had been substituted with armament placed inside sponsons and neither models saw combat. However they were invaluable in the progress of the technology which would reach the battlefield the subsequent year.Mother had shaped the design for the first tank for battle with the British armed forces which was called the British Mark I and this vehicle was in service in August 1916 in two alternates namely `male’ armed with two six pounder guns and three 8mm Hotchkiss machine guns.

It weighted 28 tons while `female’ had four 0.303 Vickers machine guns with a single Hotchkiss weighing 27 tons. Sufficient tanks had been ordered by Fosters and Metropolitan to raise six tank companies having 25 vehicles each. With the unavailability of six pounder guns, half had been equipped with only machine guns and each vehicle had a crew of eight.

About a third of the 32 British tanks which had been set up on 15 September at the Somme thrived in breaking through to German line while 17 of the 49 vehicles shipped to France seemed unfit to enter the battle. From those that did, some broke down while others were disabled due to direct hits of artillery as well as mortar shells. .

British Tanks Used - WWI

However, the tanks which did not clear no man’s land set claim to a revolution in present warfare. In spite of their inadequacies they were capable of crossing trenches of 9 ft. and pass through the barbed wire.

They portrayed the capability for extreme mobility which secured them an important role in the land force tool kit for the subsequent century. By the time the Mark IV tank had entered production in May 1917, substantial developments had taken place in armament, armour, logistics as well as recovery systems for the vehicle.

The British tanks had been used the most during WWI with 420 males together with 595 females and 202 supply variants built. An additional modified variant with innovative engine together with transmission system came into production from December 2016 with 200 each of male and female built, the first `hermaphrodite’ variants having a male and a female sponson developing.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Science Fiction Style Artificial Island to be Built in North Sea

Artificial Island
The world is in fear that the natural resources may come to an end in the next fifty years. For this, we need to use the renewable energy for completing our needs. With the world heavily dependent on the technology, a recent news has stated that an artificial island would be built in the North Sea, which is near to the coast of England. The island is supposed to be a home for millions and would have everything ranging from airport to fuel supply.

THE PLAN

The concept of artificial island is a quite surprise for the common mass as they are used to watch this in the sci-fi movies. But when this is taking place in reality, this is really exceptional. The island is supposed to be built in the large sandbank of Dogger Bank which is 62 miles off the east coast. The island will be fitted with windmills which can supply lots of power to the Northern countries of Europe such as Britain, Denmark, Germany, Dutch to name a few. The wind turbines can help to compensate the power supply in these European countries.

THE PROJECT

The project will be signed on 23rd of this month. The Danish farm named Energinet.dk is taking the responsibility to make this project come true of constructing the famous artificial island in the real world. This will be an incredible step towards the power supply in the years to come for many countries. The German farm is jointly working with the Dutch farm to make this happen. Once the electricity is generated from the wind turbines in the fake island, this can be supplied to different homes in and around Europe.

THE RENEWABLE ENERGY

The world is currently facing the threat of the extinction of the natural resources which in a way can put the lives of human lives in grave danger. For this, the Dutch farm and the German farm are trying their best to expand the power supply chain in the cross border countries. They have great experiences in the on-shore wind energy. So they are trying to explore what has not been done earlier by building a artificial island with huge number of wind turbines which can produce tons of electricity and light up millions of homes and industries in the Northern countries of Europe.

THE FUTURE

The artificial island has the perfect location and the environment for the production of electricity. Well, the Transmission System Operators are the leading members for this project and it is quite obvious they are the best suited. They would work with other Dutch colleagues in the most efficient manner so that the project gets completed at the earliest. The future is quite bright with the completion of the project. This is a great step towards saving the resources as well using the technology which will serve as a benefit for numerous countries. The power bank artificial islandwill surely going to be source of light for millions of people.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Archaeologists Uncover Ancient Egyptian Temple

Egyptian

Statues Discovered – Egyptian War Goddess

Around 66 statues have been discovered of an Egyptian war goddess that was believed to have warded off evil from the temple of Amenhotep III. The reign of Amenhotep III is said to have been from 1386 to 1349 BC and is considered as the peak of the prosperity, power and splendour of Egypt. It was surprising for the German scientist to locate the statues of Sekhmet goddess together with one of King Amenhotep III from a stunning black granite statue seated at a throne, at the time of restoration project in Luxor the location of the ancient city of Thebes.

 It had been located in the great court of the temple situated towards the west bank of the city of Luxor. These statues had been discovered while they were hunting for a temple wall which separated the two sites. Sekhmet known as `the powerful one ‘ is said to be the daughter of Egyptian sun god Ra and considered to ward off evil as well as ill health. She had great influence on the Egyptians so much so that when Amenemhat I, the first pharaoh of the twelfth dynasty had moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy, her spiritual centre also followed.

Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project

Some of her statues portray her in a standing position, holding the symbol of life – a sceptre which is prepared of papyrus. As per the Ministry of Antiquities, the Egyptian German archaeological mission who had been functioning in Luxor, on the temple of King Amenhotep III, directed by German Egyptologist Hourig Sourouzian, had excavated 66 statues together with fragments of statues for Sekhmet.Hourig Sourouzian director of the Colossi of Memnon as well as Amenhotep III Temple Conservation Project had commented saying that it was a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian sculpture, which was well carved and precisely polished.
Egyptian


The statue is said to portray the king as a young man and is presumed to have been custom-built at the time of his reign. As per historians, Pharaoh Amenhotep III was appointed a king at the tender age of 12 when he had inherited the empire which spanned from Euphrates to Sudan. As part of government restoration project that had started in 1998, his temple is being rebuilt and preserved.

Huge Construction of Architectural Prowess

Recently numerous unbelievable findings have come to light from his reign comprising of chilling finds in a 3,600 year old tomb.The undertaker's temple of Amenhotep III had been built between 1390 and 1353 BC in order to pay homage to the New Kingdom Pharaoh after his death. It had been a huge construction of architectural prowess which measured 100 metres wide by 600 metres in length and could have had several statues similar to the ones discovered signifying the king though also of sphinxes and gods.

The temple complex however had been built too close to the Nile where frequent flooding had caused plenty of damage. In 27 BC an earthquake and pillaging of stone together with sculptures for reuse in other structures had concluded the destruction. Towards the end of the 20th century, one thing only seemed to remain intact from the original structure which was the Colossi of Memnon, the two large statues that weighed about 720 tons, seated on thrones.

 The black granite statue which had been discovered by the team is said to be identical like another one found earlier in 2009. It is now on display at the Luxor Museum of Ancient Egyptian Art.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Better Technique to Save Paintings from Impacts of Aging

Old_Painting_protection_from_Aging
In the world of art, we often find lots of flourishing artists. However, we can never forget the paintings and art pieces, which had been created by the famous artists in the past. That is why it’s essential to preserve the condition of great paintings of Mondrian and Picasso. The works of these artists may have a negative impact due to aging. So, the researchers have started analyzing the issue in order to sustain the value of all paintings. Recently, some experts have revealed that a white colored pigment i.e. titanium white is speeding up the aging process of paintings. They know an improved process in order to trace out the aging signs. Thus, if preventive measure is taken at the right time, the precious painting may be protected. A journal has also accepted the data, gathered from the research-based analysis.

How Titanium white is affecting the paintings-

Now, before knowing about the protective step, let’s know something about Titanium white. This pigment dries very slowly, and thus, oil painters do not like to apply them at the initial phase of their painting project. Moreover, this is a solid pigment, which is usually blended with another medium in order to maintain a stable flow. In many of the paintings of Mondrian, Jackson Pollock and Picasso, this pigment was used. However, if any good step is not taken, then some undesirable aging effects may be seen on the beautiful paintings. For instance, color, glaze and intensity can get lost because of improper care. Besides, UV ray is also a factor that brings about such aging.

Aging impact is now detectable-

B. V. Driel, who is associated with Rijksmuseum and Delft University, has noticed a concerning fact. He had said that it seemed to be quite hard to know whether a specific binding substance of painting had some aging signs. In other words, when the impact or damage could be noted, the condition of painting might not be restored. However, with the support of many other reputed researchers, an acceptable way has been detected to know the age of any painting. It may also be helpful to reverse the damage in future
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AFM-IR- The latest technique to know the age of all paintings-

Driel applied infrared spectroscopy with different modes, and all the researchers, including Driel, have been successful in analyzing the process of degradation of the stated pigment. This process is mainly called as AFM-IR assessment.

In addition to AFM-IR, some other procedures have also been engaged. The data, obtained from the main analysis, is much useful to know all the essential things. The scientists hope that in the coming years, they will develop more affordable and easier method. You mayapply these methods after a gap of few years to know which canvashas already started showing negative symptoms. Accordingly, you can also reduce the level of exposure to UV rays. Thus, in the domain of painting, AFM-IR process may be highly useful to solve the issues of painting. However, a little investment seems to be essential at the initial stage.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Sarah Joe Mystery: Disappearance in the Pacific

Sarah Joe
The Sarah Joe Mystery

We find several stories of various unexplained events in maritime history. Once such event is the Sarah Joe mystery which had started on 11th February 1979 when a group of five friends had boarded a Boston Whaler called Sarah Joe. The vessel is said to be 17 feet in length having an 85 horsepower engine and was unequipped for any main sea voyages. When the vessel had set off from the town of Hana on the Hawaiian island of Maui, its sailing conditions did not appear to be good.

 There was hardly any wind and the surface had been as smooth as glass. Towards noon, which was barely two hours of departure, the local weather seemed to get worse and none of the five members had checked on the local conditions of sailing or the weather reports. Instead they opted in keeping watch on the horizons.

This seems to be the usual practice with amateur sailors who only tend to be out to sea for some few hours. Had they checked on the weather conditions, they would have been aware of a major low pressure system which had been approaching the islands. Had the storm which had hit the town was an indication, then the conditions at sea would have been dreadful and most inappropriate for even the experts at sea.

No Trace of Whereabouts of Five Crew Members

Hurricane force winds together with torrential rain tossed the vessel around like a rag doll Numerous bigger fishing vessels seemed to make it back to port wherein reports recommended that the wells peaked at a height of around 40 feet, Though the hopes were bleak, none of the locals or relatives of the missing boat sat tight without making some attempt in the rescue operation.

 They sent a search along the coastline though the visibility seems to be poor but the weather conditions seemed to be very rough to search further till the storm had subsided. This mystery drove a massive search wherein the day after the disappearance of the vessel, the Coast Guard suggested the mission and over a period of time it developed into a huge fleet of ships, boats together with aircraft.

The search covered 70,000 square miles of ocean for five days though they were unable to trace the whereabouts of the five crew members or the boat. The main issue was that none knew in which direction the group had ventured or where they eventually ended up. Moreover the strong currents of the Alenuihaha Channel seemed to hinder their search.

Family/Relatives not Ready to Abandon Hopes

They also resorted in bringing in homing pigeons that had been specially trained in locating people that had been stranded out at sea. After around a week, the storm experts were of the opinion that the Sarah Joe had wrecked and sank with all on board.

However the family members and friends of the missing men were not ready to abandon their hopes and they combined their resources and cash in order to maintain a search for an additional three weeks. They focussed on some of the most remote islands with a hope of getting some information of the missing vessel though they did not get any trace of the boat or the missing men.

Eventually the search had been called off and the Sarah Joe mystery seemed to be a forgotten event. However years later some of the search party members had been on a routine wildlife mission in the uninhabited islands of the Western Pacific for the National Marine Fisheries Services. The Marshall Islands and the remote Taongi islands are about 2200 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Make-Shift Cross Designed from Driftwood

Biologist John Naughton got himself involved himself in this mystery on 10, September 1988 for the second time. He came across an abandoned fibreglass boat on the coastline while working at Taongi Island and he could only define a portion of the registration of the boat though it was sufficient to learn that it had come from somewhere in the Hawaiian Islands. On investigating further, it had been established that Naughton had solved the mystery of what had taken place with Sarah Joe.

Many queries were raised since there was nothing in and around the vessel and they searched for signs of life, notes or sort of equipment which could provide some clues to the mysterious vessel. Unfortunately there were none and Naughton together with his team took some time to decide on the next thing to be done and decided to search the surrounding area. The team then made another discovery about a hundred yards from the boat wherein a make-shift cross designed from driftwood was seen sticking out of the top of a shallow grave together with a human jaw bone bulging from the direction post of coral and shingle stones.

Blank Pieces of Paper on Skeleton

On examining the grave closely, they envisaged blank pieces of paper on top of the skeleton which were loose though arranged like an open manuscript or book. Between the papers was something which Naughton later described as tinfoil. The pack of 3 inch square papers was about ¾ inch thick and did not have any function according to the biology team.

They jointly decided that any more excavation of the grave would be disrespectful and refrained from further attempts of digging. The jawbone sent to forensic lab for testing revealed that they were indeed of Scott Moorman while the other smaller bones discovered beyond the grave also seemed to match with those of Moorman. No other remains were discovered on the whole island. There seems to be much more on the mystery of Sarah Joe than the disappearance and then the appearance of one man out of the five.

 Since the boat was not well equipped and was designed for only coastal use, it seemed a mystery on how it survived one of the worst storms on record and landed on a desolate island many miles away. According to experts who tend to have a better comprehension state that the drift time between Hawaii and the Marshall Island could have been somewhere in the area of three months.