Saturday, March 26, 2011

Rigs I Have Worked On #3 - Borgsten Dolphin


Name: Borgsten Dolphin
Flag: Singapore
Manager: Dolphin Drilling Ltd.
Year Built: 1975
Builder: Aker Group; Nylands Mekaniske Verksted, Norway; Upgraded 1985
Design: Enhanced Aker H3, Self Propelled Semi-Submersible
Classification: DNV + 1A1, Column Stabilised Drilling Unit


Water Depth: 1500 ft (457,2 m)
Maximum Drilling Depth: 20,000 ft (6097 m)
Transit Speed: Approx. 4,5 knots

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ley Lines #3

Built in 1145, the Ancient Ram Inn is a former priest's residence, inn and public house; it is also the oldest building in England's Wotton-Under-Edge. Long before the building's construction, its story begins in the low-lying wetlands near Potter's Pond. This land sits on the intersection of 2 Ley Lines, areas that certain people believe contain significantly high spiritual energy. Using a map, these lines can be traced directly to England's most famous sacred site, Stonehenge. Legend has it that the energy from Stonehenge travels the Ley Lines to feed the property's paranormal power. Additionally, the site is home to a 5,000-year-old Pagan burial ground.
Travel Channel

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rigs I Have Worked On #2 - Sedco 703

The SEDCO 703 is a Sedco 700 design semi-submersible drilling unit capable of operating in harsh environments and water depths up to 2,000 feet using a 18¾in 10,000 psi BOP and a 21in OD marine drilling riser. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Connection #13 - Ludovico Ariosto to Francesco Sforza.

"Of wives and ladies, knights and arms, I sing, / of courtesies and many a daring feat."
ludovico Ariosto, one of the greatest of Italian poets, was born at Reggio, In northern Italy, September 8, 1474. He was intended for the law by his father, but at length, being allowed to follow his own inclinations, studied the classics and devoted himself to literature. About 1503 he settled in Ferrara and entered the service of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, who employed him in various political negotiations. During his leisure hours throughout a period of ten years he wrote his masterpiece, "Orlando Furioso" (Orlando Mad), an epic poem in forty-five cantos, celebrating the achievements of the Paladins of Charlemagne in the wars between the Christians and the Moors. It is virtually a continuation of Boiardo's metrical romance, "Orlando Innamorato" (Orlando in Love). Ariosto subsequently joined the court of the cardinal's brother, Alfonso, Duke of Ferrara, and in 1512 was appointed governor of Garfagnana, a mountainous district infested with brigands. After a successful administration of three years he returned to Ferrara, where he died June 6, 1533. Besides his main work he wrote comedies, satires, Bonnets, and Latin poems. 
The universal anthology: a collection of the best literature ..., Volume 11
 By Richard Garnett, Léon Vallée (i.e. Alexandre Léon), Alois Brandl

Ariosto was born in Reggio Emilia, where his father Niccolò Ariosto was commander of the citadel. He was the oldest of 10 children and was seen as the successor to the patriarchal position of his family. From his earliest years, Ludovico was very interested in poetry, but he was obliged by his father to study law.
After five years of law, Ariosto was allowed to read classics under Gregorio da Spoleto. Ariosto's studies of Greek and Latin literature were cut short by Spoleto's move to France to tutor Francesco Sforza. Shortly after this, Ariosto's father died.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rigs I Have Worked On #1 - The Noble Piet van Ede

The Noble Piet van Ede (IMO: 8752805, Port of Registry: Monrovia, Liberia) is a three-legged cantilever jack-up drilling unit of 55 meters long and 62 meters wide, rated for water depths up to 64 meters with a maximum drilling depth of 7,620 meter. The vessel is constructed to survive wave heights of 23 meters and wind speeds of 42 m/s. The rig was built in 1982 at CNIM, La Seine sur Mer, France and is operated by Noble Drilling Services.

Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence #6

This first page of the Cosmic Call 1999 message, shown above, involves only numbers

Cosmic Call
Physicists are announcing today that they have designed a message to
be broadcast in the direction of nearby stars in order to search for
extra-terrestrial intelligence. This project is being presented by Dr.
Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumas from the Defence Research Establishment
Valcartier, near Quebec City (Canada), to the American Astronomical
Society meeting in Austin, TX.  This is the first time in a quarter
of a century that such a cosmic call will be attempted.
The complete message is about 400,000 bits long and will be transmitted
three times over a 3-hour period in the direction of the four selected stars.
Then, it will be followed by a series of greetings from people around
the world. The transmission will start on March 15 1999.

Finding a transmitter for this task was not easy; the project will use a 70
m (230 ft) Ukrainian antenna equipped with a 150 kW transmitter
broadcasting at 5 GHz (6 cm). Using this antenna, any civilization within
100 light-years
which has access to a radio-telescope with an area of one squared-kilometer
will be able to read the message. The artificial nature of the message
should be able to be detected by similar instruments at distances up to
10,000 light-years. 

The Cosmic Call messages consisted of a few digital sections - "Rosetta Stone", copy of Arecibo Message, Bilingual Image Glossary, the Braastad message, as well as text, audio, video and other image files submitted for transmission by everyday people around the world.

Rosetta Stone
The Interstellar Rosetta Stone (ISR) is a message created by Canadian scientists Yvan Dutil and Stephane Dumás, authors of a similar Scientific Message in Cosmic Call 1999. The size of the ISR is 263906 bits with 127 symbols in each of 2078 lines. Unlike their message of 1999 which consisted of 23 ‘pages’ where each page was 127 X 127 binary elements, the ISR uses a slightly different approach: Different ‘pages’ have different numbers of ‘lines’. The contents of the ISR, representing an attempt to create an elementary encyclopedia of terrestrial knowledge, was not significantly changed from the Dutil-Dumás message of Cosmic Call 1999.

The Braastad message

The Braastad and TE Staff messages were prepared by Team Encounter, The Braastad Message uses the ‘mathematical language’ of the ISR to describe Team Encounter’s premiere spacecraft, Humanity’s First Starship, including its dimensions, payload, trajectory, and projected time of launch.  The TE Staff messages include various messages submitted by Team Encounter personnel.  The Braastad Message represents 88687 bits, and the Team Encounter Staff Message represents 24899 bits, for a total of 113586 bits.

The Arecibo Message

see Communication with Extraterrestrial Intelligence #5

The Bilingual Image Glossary
The Bilingual Image Glossary (BIG) message is synthesized by us on the basis of 12 binary images where each image is 101 elements by 101 lines.  The BIG served as the Image Dictionary of the Teen Age Message of 2001, [4].  Updating of the Dictionary consisted in its transformation from 12 separate pages into one page. Thus, each of the separate pages (except the last) was shortened by one line to exclude doubling the width of the horizontal frame lines.  As a result, the uniform BIG page contains (12 * 100 + 1) = 1201 lines, and the size of its binary file equals the product of two prime numbers — 101 and 1201, which makes 121301 bits. The BIG message image is given from the left.

...  personal messages from thousands of people in over 50 countries were included in Cosmic Call 2003.  These messages were submitted, primarily through e-mail, to Team Encounter’s offices in Houston, Texas where the messages were prepared for transmission.  The personal messages included text, still image, audio and video files.  Any analog messages submitted by Team Encounter members were transformed by Team Encounter into digital format. All told, the personal messages were organized into 24 electronic folders and, in total, represented 220 megabytes of information.  It was clear that for their radiation into space the transmission rate of 400 bauds would not be sufficient — bit-by-bit transmission of such a large amount of information would take more than 50 days of transmission time. Therefore, we transmitted the personal messages at a rate of 100 kbauds.  As a result, we spent a total of approximately 11 hours transmitting the Personal Messages in Cosmic Call 2003


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Extinct doesn't mean forever

The above book is an anthology containing my short story "Connect" - buy it now at Amazon!

Passing Place

"On his way he is surprised to find that his unfocused thoughts have mirrored someone elses' to the extent that they need a passing place. He stops and places himself in emptiness as the other person passes his mind and moves off in her own mental direction. Returning to himself he moves on also."

A single-track road or one-lane road is a road that permits two-way travel but is not wide enough in most places to allow vehicles to pass one another (although for some it is possible for two compact cars to pass). This kind of road is common in rural areas across the United Kingdom and elsewhere. To accommodate two-way traffic, many single-track roads, especially those officially designated as such, are provided with passing places (United Kingdom) or pullouts or turnouts (United States), or simply wide spots in the road, which may be scarcely longer than a typical automobile using the road. The distance between points where passing is possible varies considerably, depending on the terrain and the volume of traffic on the road.