Tag Archives: what we’re reading

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Apr. 14, 2021)

The last two updates were 109 and 110, fun numbers if you’re a Messerschmitt fan.

Last week’s Skypirates! developer log was a calculated choice, to give us time to build up a list of interesting stories for you.

Defense

Science and Technology

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Apr. 3, 2021)

This is about as far from a Wednesday update as it’s possible to get, and it’s also a bit on the late side, but so it goes. At least 4/3/21 is a fun countdown.

Local News

  • The spam-stopper plugin is doing its job (1.5 million spam registrations/comments blocked!). If it’s doing its job too well and preventing any of you regulars (or newcomers who happen to read this) from commenting, let me know in the Discord, and I’ll try whitelisting you.
  • The 3D printer had recently ceased to go brr, because printing tabletop-quality miniatures is a very, very tricky affair at the knife edge of the machine’s capabilities, but it’s running again after an afternoon picking thin coatings out of threads on two mating parts.
  • A book recommendation from the Discord (The Secret Horsepower Race) has been great reading so far. I think I got to page 53 before I came across a full four-column, two-page spread with no fascinating pictures or diagrams. Serendipitously, this is What We’re Reading 109, an auspicious number given the subject matter of the book.

Suez Canal

  • I caught wind of this on Tuesday, March 23, and if I’d published it in the scheduled timeslot, I would have been well ahead of the curve. As it stands, I’d be a little behind the curve linking a postmortem. Oh well. I imagine you don’t come here for breaking news, and if you do, I’m a little concerned about how up-to-date you are on any number of current events.
  • Relatedly, it’s been a bad year for container losses at sea – Volumes are up, schedules are tight, stormy seas are less easily avoided.
  • Memes made Suez Canal workers work faster – National pride cited as the reason, in that I guess the Egyptians thought we were laughing at them, and not the situation generally?
  • On that note, I saw someone on Twitter remark that, given his long experience in Egypt, he was surprised the shouting over the situation wasn’t audible in space.

Defense

Science and Technology

Guns

  • Back on March 17, I noted that I was hearing rumors of the Pennsylvania background check system going down, as people converted stimulus checks into handguns.
  • The top US general in Afghanistan carries a Glockblaster – Compensator and slide-mounted red dot. Suggestion box is open for appropriate Glockblaster-themed names.

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Mar. 17, 2021)

Projects

  • Little Wars: I have 135 infantry and 72 cavalry printed in various colors and styles, and have another 45 and 24 (respectively) in progress. Future battles will be larger than ever before!
  • Gun stuff: the Glockblaster 3D progresses apace.
  • Many Words Press World HQ Library: carpet incoming soon; bookshelves to come.
  • Skypirates! (the PC game): did some design thinking, settled on a flat map covering only part of the world, at least to begin with.

Defense

Science and Technology

  • Creating a new map projection more accurate than others – Speaking of flat maps, here’s one that makes a claim (a map projection better than others) without remarking on its main disadvantage (it’s a two-sided disk, as though you ran over a globe with a steamroller, which means it’s not ideal for display use).

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Mar. 10, 2021)

I believe we’ve made a near-final carpet selection here at Many Words Press World HQ, which means the library will soon be a) done and b) capable of hosting the largest Little Wars battles yet, on the order of 15′ x 10′, which should easily support coalitions of more than 100 soldiers. Hopefully, we can bring you one of those in the not too distant future.

Defense

Science and Technology

History

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (February Edition)

Oh my, it’s been a month.

Well, in the intervening time I had to sell my Mini and buy a new car (blew a valve, or maybe a head gasket), among other things. So it goes.

Defense

Science and Technology

Space

History

Guns

The ‘Rona Etc.

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Feb. 3, 2021)

This is volume 105, an auspicious number for artillerists. I’ve been slowly working through the backlog of spam users I mentioned in last night’s post, and decided to turn off registration entirely after recaptcha failed to stop a few spam registrations last night.

Defense

Stonks

Science and Technology

Culture Wars

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jan. 27, 2021)

As parvusimperator settles into his new work digs, he’s been a bit more free with the article-sharing. Maybe we’ll get back onto a once-a-week routine, instead of this recent every-two-weeks one.

Discord Shout-Outs

  • Our readers on the Discord (link’s in the sidebar) have come through with some fascinating stuff lately.
  • boomerang-pigeon shares some archival documents from Bovington, on British tank development in the early Chieftain era.
  • Kilo Sierra shows off some pretty woodworking.
  • NATO/OTAN translates some R&D budget line items for the PLAN’s Type 076 LHD.
  • It’s cool stuff. If you like what you read here, you should come on by.
  • I have a few things in mind for alternate chat systems, if Discord ever decides to clamp down on tiny defense-affairs communities.

Defense

Science and Technology

gestures The World and Such

  • Everything is Broken – COVID has convinced me of nothing so thoroughly as the utter decay of Western institutions generally.
  • The Michael Scott Theory of Social Class – “The first major speech pattern between the characters is Posturetalk. Posturetalk is everything said by Michael, Dwight and Andy, to anyone: the staff, the execs, or each other. Everything they say is some form or another of meaningless, performative babbling. This is the language of living inside a construct; where your entire world lives within arbitrarily drawn boxes, and you have nothing concrete to attach to. It’s the only language that Michael knows how to speak.”
  • In happier news, Redditors are screwing over hedge funds with a short squeeze on Gamestop – Are there any good guys in this story? Well, maybe the Redditors doing it for the lulz, but that’s about it, and even they aren’t the most sympathetic characters. Here’s a Twitter thread on the same topic.
  • The new national American elite – Used to be that regional elites competed for national leadership. Now there’s an elite monoculture, and like most monopolies, it’s led to corruption and decrepitude.

Grab Bag

  • A classic of the filk music genre – Filk: what happens when musically-inclined fans get together at science fiction conventions. This one could be a folk anthem for the Imperium of Mankind.
  • A joke from Russia, badly translated: “The police reported a few hundred protestors on Sunday, and a few thousand were arrested.”
  • A remark from a Russian wag, recounted third-hand: “In every joke, there’s a little bit of joke.”

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Jan. 13, 2021)

Happy New Year! 2021 is already off to a flying start, but you’re not here for commentary on that, presumably.

Miscellaneous Entertainments

  • I had cannily planned to hold off on watching The Mandalorian until all the episodes had released, then binge it during the free trial, only to discover that there is no longer a free trial deal. Oops. Well, season 2 has been good so far. No spoilers.
  • Also, since we had to subscribe to Disney+ to see The Mandalorian, and we get as many blocks of one month subscription as it takes us to finish it, I also got to see The Rise of Skywalker, which is the only thing worse than irredeemable crap: redeemable crap. I’ll be turning a conversation I had with parvusimperator into a review in the coming days.
  • On the PC games front, I’ve been playing From the Depths, a block-based vehicle building. Think Minecraft meets Waterworld meets Friedman’s U.S. Battleships. A pretty good buoyancy simulation and some well-designed, if not entirely realistic, ballistics and armor math makes for interesting shipbuilding, and the presence of several game modes with actual beginnings, middles, and ends (as opposed to the standard block-builder ‘survive and build’ mode) gives you something to do with your ludicrously large naval guns. Weighing against it is the jankiness in the UI.

The ‘Rona

  • The lab leak hypothesis gets its moment in New York Magazine – Republicans are out of power, so now media lefties are allowed to say obvious things without risk of being associated with wrongthink.
  • Kind of a shame we used up our collective capacity for tolerating restrictions over the summer, when it was not bad, instead of now, when it is.

Defense

History

  • A tour of R-100 – The old British zeppelin. It’s a little on the cozy side, but! A zeppelin! Also, and this is why I’m not a zeppelin designer in real life, arranging the cabins so that they can get natural light from the windows despite being inboard of the promenades and balconies is delightfully clever.

Science and Technology

  • American media continues Russophobic attacks – Blaming the (Czech-developed, though by Russians with ties to Russia) JetBrains tool suite for hacks in the US. JetBrains, of course, denies it, and nothing further has come of it.

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Dec. 30, 2020)

I’ve been trying to sell a light horror story on and off for a year or two, and have had nibbles but no luck. It’s one of my best, and I want to get on to writing more in the same universe. I’m thinking about serializing it over at Many Words Main instead, and going for a once-per-week update schedule again. Thoughts?

Defense

The ‘Rona

Science and Technology

Guns

Grab Bag

Wednesday What We’re Reading (Dec. 9, 2020)

The spammers in the spam queue have gotten a lot less creative lately, but with better grammar, they’re sneaking through the automated filter a bit more often. Fascinating tradeoffs in spam design.

Word of the Week

  • I used ‘boustrophedonic‘ to describe a neat, even winding on a spool of 3D printer filament.

Defense

Science and Technology

Motorsport

Grab Bag