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June 18, 2016

Thread below the Gardening Thread [KT]

Serving your Later Saturday Morning Open Thread Needs
During Parts of 2016, Off and On

Feeling overwhelmed? Maybe it's time to take a break for a Chocolate Festival in New Zealand in less than a month, from July 11 - 17. This particular chocolate festival was made possible by romantic city planning.

Baldwin Street, Dunedin, New Zealand

When British surveyor Charles Kettle drew up road plans for Dunedin during the mid-19th century, he modeled the design on the elegant grids of Edinburgh's New Town. Dunedin's erratic topography, however, was less than ideal for the street system that had worked so well in Scotland. Nonetheless, city planners forged ahead and ended up with Baldwin Street, whose gradient has earned it a place in the Guinness Book of Records.

The "World's Steepest Street" is now the site of the annual Jaffa Race. Jaffas are candy-coated balls of orange-chocolate. For race day, they are painstakingly numbered, and people can bet on an individual candy for a dollar. Proceeds go to charity. Three races took place last year, with red, yellow and blue Jaffas.


While your are in scenic seaside Dunedin, you might stop by the university to see the Beveryly Clock. "Running since 1864, this clock has yet to be wound, possibly the longest running science experiment known." It runs on changes in temperature and atmospheric pressure. It could serve as a model for the future, when some of our friends on the left dream of a world without electrical power.

But the dreams of the left are affecting Dunedin today, too. I ran across a blog concerning construction of a stadium in Dunedin. I am happy to report that there appeared to have been some push-back against city officials who blamed flooding on "climate change". Could the "clilmate change" narrative really protect them from liability for failure to properly maintain storm drain systems, etc? I also liked the graphic below from the Jaffa races. Heh.

Ready to pack?

Historical Weapon Science

It's back to ancient Scotland from New Zealand fir the following news item. It is possible that a distant ancestor of a Dunedin city planner was involved in fighting between the Romans and the Scottish barbarians. Roman troops apparently used whistling bullets (shot from slings) as "terror weapons".

Weighing about 1 ounce (30 grams), each of the bullets had been drilled with a 0.2-inch (5 millimeters) hole that the researchers think was designed to give the soaring bullets a sharp buzzing or whistling noise in flight.

The bullets were found recently at Burnswark Hill in southwestern Scotland, where a massive Roman attack against native defenders in a hilltop fort took place in the second century A.D.

Sound of the whistling bullet here.

The candy balls in the Jaffa races are friendlier. Of course, bullets, even from slings, are generally not intended as missiles of welcome, like a bunch of bouncing chocolate balls.

Have a great weekend. Eat some chocolate, maybe.

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posted by Open Blogger at 11:20 AM

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