It’s been a while since I was in school. My trigonometry is a little rusty, for instance. Well, I assume it’s rusty, but I really can’t remember much from Chemistry class, so I don’t recall if trigonometry is a metal or a liquid, so it might not be able to rust at all. But you get my point.
Anyway, I do remember a little bit from History class. Way, way before the Germans bombed Pearl Bailey, there were 300 Greek Hulks who took on 20,000 Persons at the battle of Thermocouple, I think it was. I don’t know what kind of persons they were, but they lost, so who cares. That’s how history gets written. Deal with it.
High-speed cameras make many things even more interesting. Prince Rupert’s Drops are a sort of very early version of tempered glass. You know all about tempered glass. It’s that stuff you’re crashing through all the time because you’re a Borderline Sociopathic Boy.
(Thanks to Interfriend Charles Schneider for sending that one along)
The Girandoni Windbüchse, or air rifle, can lay claim to the title of the first truly repeating rifle ever to be used by any military.(Austrian)
The rifle was 4 ft (1.2 m) long and weighed 10 lbs (4.5 kg), about the same basic size and weight as other muskets of the time. It fired a .46 caliber ball at a velocity similar to that of a modern .45 ACP and it had a tubular, gravity-fed magazine with a capacity of 20 balls. This gravity operated design was such that the rifle had to be pointed upwards in order to drop each ball into the breech block. Unlike its contemporary, muzzle-loading muskets, which required the rifleman to stand up to reload with powder and ball, the shooter could reload a ball from the magazine by holding the rifle vertically while laying on his back and operating the ball delivery mechanism. The rifleman then could roll back into position to fire, allowing the rifleman to keep a “low profile”. Contemporary regulations of 1788 required that each rifleman, in addition to the rifle itself, be equipped with three compressed air reservoirs (two spare and one attached to the rifle), cleaning stick, hand pump, lead ladle, and 100 lead balls, 1 in the chamber, 21 in the magazine built into the rifle and the remaining 80 in four tin tubes. Equipment not carried attached to the rifle was held in a special leather knapsack. It was also necessary to keep the leather gaskets of the reservoir moist in order to maintain a good seal and prevent leakage.
The air reservoir was in the club-shaped butt. With a full air reservoir, the Girandoni air rifle had the capacity to shoot 30 shots at useful pressure. These balls were effective to approximately 150 yards on a full load. The power declined as the air reservoir was emptied . (Wikipedia)
So Lewis and Clark could sound like they were cutting a fart and still kill you at 100 paces. Good to know. Of course Lewis and Clark are about as Borderline Sociopathic Boy as you can get to begin with, but add in these air rifles and they become as cool as Miles Davis’ bass player.