David Attenborough- and some penguins, some gorillas, and a pretty lizard

I have been watching David Attenborough for as long as I can remember. This clip recalls some of his earlier work, from long before I encountered him, as well as the more well-known pieces. Including the gorillas of course, and new to me, the baby (blind) rhinoceros.

The lizard is Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard (Sitana attenboroughii), a species of fan-throated lizards from Kerala in southern India. It is one of around fifteen species named after him.

Image: By David Raju [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Steam engine for pumping water made to the Savery system.

Thomas Savery, and a new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion by the impellent force of fire

Thomas Newcomen and James Watt are the names I think of regarding early steam engine development. Yet, it was a Thomas Savery, who on July 2nd, 1698 first patented the idea of an early steam ‘engine’, or perhaps more precisely its direct predecessor since it had no moving parts. It was as Savery explained:

A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for draining mines, serving towns with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefit of water nor constant winds.

Significantly, the patent was to last twenty-one years and this forced Newcomen to come to an arrangement with Savery when developing his own, more successful engines.

 


Image source:By PHGCOM [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons
Quoted text courtesy of Wikipedia

The Chilwell catastrophe: Fatal explosion on the home front

It is the pictures of the vast warehouses of shells, six hundred thousand of them, that is most shocking: that they could all be fired in just two or three days.

Heritage Calling

On 1 July 1918, at 7.10pm, a catastrophic explosion tore through the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.

The blast killed 134 workers and injured 250 – the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War.

Rubbe and remains of a destroyed factory building after the blast A large part of the factory site was reduced to rubble after the explosion. © Historic England/AA96-03585.

Eight tons of TNT had detonated without warning, flattening large parts of the plant and damaging properties within a three mile area. The colossal blast was heard 30 miles away.

Eye witness, Lottie Martin, a worker at the factory, later recalled: ‘…Men, women and young people burnt, practically all their clothing burnt, torn and disheveled. Their faces black and charred, some bleeding with limbs torn off, eyes and hair literally gone…’

A destroyed factory building pictured after the blast Many factory buildings were twisted and distorted by the force of the blast. © IWM HU96428.

Rapid action by…

View original post 1,028 more words

Tower Bridge at night.

Tower Bridge: Happy Birthday!

Combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge

Lovely image of London's famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine's dock looking south.
Lovely image of London’s famous Tower Bridge, taken from St Katherine’s dock looking south. By Bob Collowân [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture.

I first saw it as a child, though it was to be many years before I learned that Continue reading