Hugh's 2019 reading and notes, part 4
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Seen at the dam in front of the restaurant of the main camp at Hlane Royal National Park, Swaziland (Eswatini), in 2015. The "Royal" indicates that this area used to be the King's hunting preserve -- until all his hunters could find here was a solitary cane rat. The then king (Sobhuza II) called in the legendary Tony Reilly of Mlilwane fame, and the reserve has been resurrected into a very pleasant place to visit.
On the earthquake: a boken school fence seems acceptable. When I think earthquake I imagine villages and roads swallowed by the ground, houses in ruins, people buried beneath rubbish, fires from broken power lines, no water... even though I do know that the standard quake barely registers in the minds of people.
The earthquake only managed 3.7 on the Richter scale, which AFAIK is only just noticeable.
I hope you do not have follow-on tremors and that this was a once off.
The Richter scale goes up exponentially, so 3.7 is a lot stronger than 3.2.
I liked the description to said the Pretorian geologists used, "the groan of an old continent".
I personally have never experienced one, so have no idea what to expect.
I too liked the description that the geologist used. Makes it sound more normal, less like impending doom.
>11 haydninvienna: The Kaapvaal Craton, which underlies most of South Africa -- but not Kwazulu-Natal -- is said to be one of the oldest and most stable areas of crust on Earth. The really old bits crop out on the road between Barberton and Swaziland; the area has recently been declared a World Heritage Site.
Whatever people think or say about England the English team did get to the final. Well done to all involved.
The vantage point is a hill near Berg-en-Dal camp, Kruger National Park, looking roughly southwards. The Crocodile River (hidden from view) is the Park boundary here; it is between the curve of the hill and the canefields beyond (on the left, where the road disappears).The mountains are some 40-60 km away, as the crow flies.
I think the only real reason that I know something about the sport is because an old friend of mine switched from playing football to playing rugby, and because, well - who can be on the internet and NOT know about the All Blacks?!
I feel congrats is in order, anyway, so - congrats!
Wikipedia tells us that there are few multi-ring craters on Earth, and goes on immediately to compare this one to craters on our Moon and one of the moons of Jupiter. Here you see two of the rings from a vantage point overlooking the hamlet of Venterskroon, North-West. The rings are very clear on Wikipedia's space picture, and the shape of the structure is easy to pick up on a map showing the Witwatersrand, Klerksdorp and Free State goldfields. Do I need to add that much of the structure is a World Heritage Site, if a rather neglected one.
The town in the top left is presumably Potchefstroom, and the river cutting through the structure is the Vaal. That should suffice to get your bearings on a decent map.
Fun fact: the $2 word for such craters is astrobleme: "star-wound".
These are on a boulder on a farm next to the first drift west of Venterskroon; I have it flagged as Schmidtsdrift, but it's a long way from the place Google knows by that name.
Considering that these structures were formed in a few seconds, can you imagine the force with which the rocks around here were hit?
>34 haydninvienna: What a lovely name for such a horrific event. :)
What a place to float over in a hot air balloon.
In my final year at school, we were subjected to a Tour of Industry (why go to the abattoir and the rubbish disposal works, for Pete's sake?!) As I have always had a fear of heights, the other site I couldn't handle was Libanon Gold Mine on the Far West Rand. They kitted us up in non-fitting overalls and marched us off to the headgear, where the guide gleefully told us that we would now go 6000 feet straight down. And there was a large gap (6000 feet straight down) between the lip of the shaft and the hoist. And 6000 feet of steel cable is, with the best will in the world, springy. So when the hoist gets where it's going it oscillates. A lot. And you have to jump for Mother Earth. AAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!
This is almost the view from the bathroom window towards our street (but I went outside!) a week or 2 ago.
And thank you for that recommendation; it looks wonderful!
A good read if the topic interests you.
I am not convinced.
ETA love the lions. At a suitable distance.
>62 -pilgrim-: Have you ever read Memories of a Game Ranger by Harry Wolhuter? It should be relatively easy to find, though it was written a long time ago. I ask because Wolhuter had arguably the most famous encounter with lions in what is now the Kruger National Park. One night in 1903 he was riding back to his camp (on horseback) when his party was attacked by a pride of lions. He was dragged some distance by the male; fortunately his assistants, horse and dog all scattered and got away. Eventually he remembered and could get hold of his knife, and stabbed the lion in the heart. Before he passed out he climbed a tree, and tied himself to a branch with his belt. The next day his staff retrieved him, his dog and his horse (the latter two unhurt) and saw him safely to HQ at Skukuza. From there he could be transferred safely to the nearest hospital (in Barberton at the time, but since then they have built nearer ones), where he almost died of blood poisoning. The hide of the lion and Wolhuter's knife and belt are on display in the museum / library in Skukuza.
And that, Narilka, is why one rather doesn't stick one's nose out of the car while there are lions about, far less try to cuddle them.
And thank you for the lion pictures. Lovely to see in a picture or from a safe position. Although there are a few cougars and lots of lynx around here, the bears are much more of a risk than wild cats in this area. Sometimes I shudder when I see tourists out of their vehicle taking pictures of a "cute" bear at the side of the road. Often they are much too close to the bear and much too far from the safety of their vehicle. I'm sure tourists in your area are sometimes as foolish around the wildlife.
(And yes, I know that once they have tasted human, they can become more aggressive and so more dangerous.)
>71 -pilgrim-: Happens here all the time. People go jogging in a wildlife refuge, run into a bear who gets frightened and gets aggressive. Then the joggers report the bear*, and the officers from DEP shoot the bear*.
* substitute coyote, mountain lion or whatever.
Seen in Umlalazi Nature Reserve just after sunset on 6 June 2009.
The bird has given its name to a worthwhile publisher of wildlife and other books in Johannesburg.
ETA Much better than anything of similar kind by Stephen Hawking.
Now I have to go an attend to a BB wound.
And in view of previous discussions in the Pub we ought to show some love for the translators, Simon Carnell and Erica Segre (same for both books), who appear to have done a first-class job.
For the rest the book is interesting if at best bittersweet, with some excitement at the end as the war resumes and the author is airlifted out in a hurry. Probably worth reading if you find the subject interesting and you run across a copy, but I wouldn't put much effort into going out of my way looking for a copy.
This is a Hamerkop (Afrikaans, means "Hammer-head"). Clearly a fish-eating riparian dweller.
A short distance off the screen to the right is the foot of Sani Pass; at the top of the pass is a place that claims to be the highest pub in Africa (over 9000 feet above sea level). The pub is in Lesotho, right on the border -- so much so that one corner of the patio sticks out over South Africa!
Next up: Golden Age, sequel to the above, taking the story to 1967. Blessings on parents for acquiring a copy when it first came out.
In summary then, a worthy and well-written sequel to the first book, but necessarily more closely focused. If that answers your question, then take this as a recommendation.
Seen in 1985, and so even the picture is somewhat faded.
In other news, is "my mate Jess" also smitten with the kitten?
It's a picture I took in my teens of what is now the Hester Rupert Art Museum in Graaff Reinet, Eastern Cape. Graaff Reinet (named after the then governor's wife, Reinette van der Graaff) is the 4th-oldest town in South Africa, and was founded in 1804. This building was originally the Pastorie (Dutch Reformed rectory), but was saved from dereliction by the multi-millionaire Anton Rupert; hence the commemorative name. The back garden sports one of the largest (if not the largest) and oldest grape vines in the country. The age of the picture is shown not only by the faded colours, but also by the obsolete stop-street sign in the foreground.
In Britain, a hob is the set of heated surfaces (heated by electricity, gas, or (on a range) coal or wood, on which you would put a saucepan, for example. I believe Americans refer to this as a cook-top?
In earlier times, the hob would be any shelf within a chimney on which you could rest something, like a kettle, to hear over the fire.
Thus whether something on the hob was being heated on part of a stove or over an (indoor) fire is only determinable by context.
I would also not consider a stove as being the same object as a range, as your question seems to imply.
A stove for me, consists of an enclosed heating area e.g. an oven, with a hot surface above (the hob). It includes gas or electric powered devices.
A range would be a freestanding object, with cooking surfaces above, and ovens (plural) below, burning coal, wood (or possibly another fuel).
Yet I am well aware that in the most common Russian and Polish traditional usage, the stove has an enclosed fire, primarily for heating (but which you can cook over), and the heated, flat surface was for sleeping on.
After all that, I don't know the answer to your question!
But I suspect it relates to the idea of enclosing your heating source (stove as opposed to open fire), rather than specifically cooking technology.
As the evolution of the (English) use of hob shows, the idea of putting something on a shelf above your heat source ("on the hob"), remained constant past the transition from open fires to enclosed ones (stoves).
The modern kitchen range was invented by Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford in the 1790s. ...There had been stoves before this, apparently, but I think it's probably fair to say that the "stove" or "cooker" or "range" as we know and love it today dates from the beginning of the 19th century.
The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed a steady improvement in stove design. Cast iron stoves replaced those made of masonry and their size shrank to allow them to be incorporated into the domestic kitchen. By the 1850s, the modern kitchen, equipped with a cooking range, was a fixture of middle-class homes. In 1850 Mary Evard invented the Reliance Cook Stove, which was divided in two with one half for dry baking and the other half for moist. Patents issued to Mary Evard are US76315 and US76314 on April 7, 1868. She demonstrated this stove with her husband at the St. Louis World's Fair.
As I said, it depends on your definition.
The Russian stove is used for both cooking and heating. According to Wikipedia, it developed in the 15th century. It is wood-burning. It is used for baking bread and pies, for example; although the long, slow heating process is distinctive, functionally it covers the same cooking processes as a modern Western oven. It can also be used to make soups etc., which makes it functionally equivalent to a "range", in your terminology, I suppose.
I happened to be reading about the Chinese kang when you posted your question. Although most descriptions refer to it as a bed-stove, and treat it primarily as a heating system, there were various passing mentions by Chinese authors to it being used for cooking.
(cf. https://permaculturevisions.com/integrated-technology-idea-thousands-yrs/ for a description of how one works, beyond that given in Wikipedia)
If that fits your definition of a stove (i.e. enclosed cooking), then it seems the answer is "7,000 years ago".
N.b. I looked further into the traditional Polish ceramic stove - but my (brief) investigations suggest that was solely for heating.
Use in a stove requires cast iron of reliable quality. It undergoes repeated cycles of heating and cooling, often whilst unattended, in circumstances where explosions are likely to have extreme consequences. It is a late application of casting technology, rather than an early one.
Consider that cooking "on the hob" - in the open hearth sense - occurs amongst the poorer classes in Dickens' novels.
ETA: Bless you, Doha. Sitting on top of one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, and almost all cooking is still electric.
Certainly the slow, relatively small temperature changes that a bridge experiences are a comparatively trivial problem.
And if your cast iron pot or kettle cracks, it can simply be replaced; its failure doesn't threaten life and limb.
Cannons certainly experience a severe pressure wave when firing, but I don't think that they experienced the heat generated for long enough to heat the metal. I don't recall any accounts of cannon being hot to touch at the external surfaces, the way cast iron stoves were, as being a routine problem when handling. Certainly they could overheat during an extended exchange of fire - but then there was also a known risk of their exploding.
My materials science courses (a small part of my physics degree) were rather a long time ago now. But, as I recall, the severe tests of a material are cyclical tensile stresses, such are provided by the repeated heating up and then cooling down of a metal.
I vaguely recall the problems with explosions in the development of the first combustion engines (and I am treading gingerly into Hugh's territory here!) As I understood it, this was primarily an engineering rather than a scientific problem - in the sense that the theory was not difficult, progress depended on the development of sufficient engineering proficiency in the manufacturing process.
Repeated expansion and contraction - that's the b***d to work with.
Aside: I am totally confused by your terminology. A "cook-top" was not a word that I had ever encountered until I approached Wikipedia in the course of this conversation, but it seemed to be what I would call a hob. So what is your "crappy electric thing" if it has neither a cook-top/hob nor an oven?
With the bridge, I actually had in mind more that it showed that the English iron-founders of the day could cast really big castings, and also make them fit together well enough. I also noted the coincidence in time, that it's the same period during which Watt and Boulton were making steam engines practicable. I don't know what they made the cylinders of, but iron certainly would have been involved, and the only sensible way to turn a block of iron into a cylinder would be by casting.
Hugh: what are the cylinders in a locomotive made of?
The train of thought was suggested by the prospect of having to talk to the residents of a Retirement Home about Roman cookery some time in the new year. I point out that 97% of the residents of the City live in flats (US: apartments), and at the time of the Empire the vast majority of insulae were 4 or more storeys tall, made of lath and plaster above a brick-built ground floor. So sensible plebs bought their food from the pub rather than trying to cook it themselves and burning half the city down.
The house I grew up in had an almost identical stove, without the spare pipe. The gas was made by the municipality from coal, and was piped to users. That stopped yonks ago, but I gather that Johannesburg now uses the remains of the reticulation system to distribute natural gas imported from Mozambique to subscribers. The kitchen was off the entrance hall (dumb idea) and had three doors, and so doubled as a thoroughfare. This caused Mother to throw toys out the cot frequently if someone Opened A Door while she was Baking; this would Cause A Draught and Make The Cake Sink -- a hanging offence!
Dear me. The people are long gone now, but the the building, called Greystaines, is still there and is now heritage listed:
Mrs Storey had one of the flats with the balconies.
It was at these gas-works that an IRA unit was planting a bomb at a gasometer when the bomb exploded prematurely killing the four members of the unit and triggering a massive mushroom shaped flame that I witnessed from about half-a-mile away. I was sitting in a pub (some things never change) on the first floor of the students' union building at Queen's University of Belfast. There were windows to my right and to my left. It was dark outside.
At one point I noticed the area outside the window to my left was being illuminated by a bright amber light. This was the 1970s and we were used to the British army using parachute flares to light up an area they were searching. I thought this was the case with the bright light to my left. I then noticed that there was light to my right. Looking out the windows to the right I saw a massive column of flame lighting up the night sky. It started forming a mushroom top and continued rising with the central column of flame rushing upwards feeding the top of the structure. It was an amazing sight, albeit a horrible event.
And yes, my mother would also blame draughts with causing cakes to sink in the middle.
>144 pgmcc: The Johannesburg gas works were also filthy, and closed down yonks ago (but not so dramatically). I've just checked the satellite image on Google Earth, and see that some of the factory is still standing, as are three gasometers. The tag "Egoli Gas" leads me to believe that the site is now used as the entry point for natural gas from Mozambique, which makes sense.