F1 Pr0n: 2016 miniMegaPr0n Part II: Renault, Red Bull, Force India, Manor
The first round of pre-season testing is now complete, and 10 of the 11 new chassis have hit the track. We've already looked at Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Williams in the first miniMegaPr0n, and Haas got its own entry because they're just that darn cool. This installment will look at four of the remaining teams. "But Wonderduck," I hear you wail, and I think you need a little tuning, you seem a tad flat, "why not all six?" Well, that's simple. Toro Rosso is running an all-black testing livery that is totally impossible to pick any details out of from the pictures available, and Sauber hasn't debuted their 2016 car at all. So four it is!
So enjoy these on-track snaps and amateur analysis from the duck with the best grasp of F1 in the world, yours truly. And I can make that claim because what other duck is going to disagree with me in a way anybody could understand?
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 28, 2016 01:51 PM (KiM/Y)
Has there...been ANY evidence...that ANYONE...actually WATCHED that series...other than Wonderduck?
WHY would someone spend MONEY to do THAT?
Posted by: Ben at February 28, 2016 09:48 PM (S4UJw)
There is a... certain subset... of fan that prefers dub over sub. Maybe this will be the greatest dub ever... or perhaps they'll do a Ghost Stories to it?
I do have it on good authority that I was not the only person to purchase a copy of Rio: Rainbow Gate! on DVD. This same "good authority" is the one that's told me that my writeups played a part in getting the show licensed in the first place.
If I die, I expect to end up in Hell. I've certainly earned it for that alone.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 28, 2016 11:25 PM (KiM/Y)
1/3 morbid fascination, 2/3 "give mediablasters some money and maybe Yamibou will actually happen."
Posted by: mikeski at February 29, 2016 03:32 AM (LIUK5)
Mikeski, I didn't know that. Steven, I thought you just "flipped through it", if you take my meaning?
I watched...I think through episode 5 or 6? Could have been more, but I know I didn't finish it. I certainly didn't buy it. Though I think I offered to help pay for 'duck's purchase...after all, he did suffer the most. If I didn't, I am now!
Posted by: Ben at February 29, 2016 09:26 AM (DRaH+)
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 29, 2016 07:03 PM (KiM/Y)
Watching that makes one think VERY differently about what's going on in the whole Thomas the Tank Engine series. Are those poor engines running around with "KILL ME NOW. JUST KILL ME NOW" going through their engine-minds?
Posted by: fillyjonk at March 02, 2016 02:38 PM (o5UlT)
Remember back towards the end of December / beginning of January, when I kept coming home early because of a lack of work? Well, we're feeling the wrath of that now... see, the medical insurance company we process claims for... let's call them "Smith Medical" because that's not their name, or Smith for short... Smith kinda accidentally-on-purpose caused that shortfall of claims. I think I've mentioned that there's three types of claims we deal with: Professional (basically doctors, clinics, x-ray techs, and so forth); Claims that have another insurance company involved other than Smith; and my favorite, Long-Term Care... nursing homes, Adult day-care, that sort of thing. LTC claims are easy... I'll do 30-40 of them an hour, where 20-25 is about what I'll do in an hour for professional. Smith knows that LTC is easy... in fact, they thought it was so easy that they could have their computers do most of them, and they'd send the really hard ones out for human help. So they stopped sending LTC claims out to us so they could have some on hand when it came time to test their programs.
Needless to say, the programs failed miserably. From what I've heard, they were getting about 50% of them correct. They eventually admitted defeat and released the claims out to us, about three weeks late and on the verge of "timing out", or overrunning the state-mandated turn-around time. There were some 24000 claims of this one type; we then got another 8000 or so. Mind you, we normally get about 6000 or so claims of all sorts in an entire day. So of course we were aimed at this mass of stuff exclusively, since it was about to time out, delaying the normal claims. Then, at the beginning of February, we started to get hit with more claims than normal every day, we lost some processors to attrition, and the claims kept piling up. Finally my boss made the call: mandatory 10 hours of overtime this week.
I did four hours this past Saturday, and an hour yesterday and today. When I took the job, I knew that OT was a normal thing, and I was fine with that. I mean, I don't like it (and I did enough of it at the bookstore thankyouverymuch), but when it's gotta be done, it's gotta be done. But that was before I knew how hard this job could be. Even doing nine hours of claimrunning is exhausting... I'm getting home, eating, then collapsing. All of which is a long-winded way of explaining why I haven't done part two of the F1 miniMegaPr0n yet, despite the first test session being under way. Hopefully Wednesday night. Your patience is, as always, appreciated.
UPDATE: Wednesday I did a 10-hour day. After picking up my prescription Keep Wonderduck Alive pills, I didn't get home until 8pm. When I finally sat down at home, the only thought in my head was EAT ALL THE THINGS. So I did, and now I need a new couch, and another jar of lingonberry. I cannot begin to tell you how incoherent my artichoke rubella pneumatic leather bucket fluffernutter is right now. Holy crap there's a pack of coyote howling their damfool heads off out in the fields behind Pond Central right now. I wonder what they were hunting? Considering where they were, they had probably managed to stalk and trap a broken-down 18-wheeler.
F1 Pr0n: Haas VF-16
If you're a fan of Formula 1 coverage here at The Pond, you have this car to thank for 2016. To be blunt, I was leaning towards giving up on writing about F1 unless something important occurred... but then Haas F1 Team joined the grid. Why does that matter? Because they're an American team, based in Kannapolis, NC, with a "forward base" in Banbury, England for the European leg of the season. Yes, I'm rooting for the team on strictly nationalistic grounds, and that's what is keeping me interested in F1 this year.
The livery is based on that used by "parent company" (i.e., both are owned by Gene Haas) Haas Automation's machine tools. Indeed, the car's "VF" designation comes from them, too. The first machine design they sold was called the VF-1, short for "Very First". As an aside, the Navy fighter squadron VF-16 flew off the second USS Lexington (CV-16) and were known as "The Fighting Airedales."
The overall design is reminiscent of both the 2015 Ferrari SF-15T and the SF-16H. This should come as no surprise to anybody, since the two teams have a very close technical partnership. Not only is Haas using the 2016 Ferrari powerplant, they also purchased as much as the tech regs allowed from the Italian team. Thus the suspension and gearbox, as well as incidental parts (like brake ducts) are also Ferrari-made. The rest of the design is all Haas, however, and was produced by Dallara for the team.
There's an interesting wrinkle on the nose just behind the suspension mounts. The general school of thought at the moment is that its for some aspect of the suspension, but nobody knows for sure. The tip of the nose is more Mercedes than Ferrari, as it has no proboscis. Obviously there's no way to compare the design with prior Haas cars, but it can be said that it's not quite as refined as, say, the Ferrari bodywork. The sidepods are a little larger, the rear of the car is not as tightly packaged, that sort of thing, but you'd expect that from a first-year design. You don't take as many risks on your initial go-round.
Haas F1 wants points in its initial season. Normally I'd think that was impossible, but for Haas, maybe not. Unlimited windtunnel testing for the past year, plus the partnership with Ferrari, has presented the team with unprecedented advantages over prior new teams like HRT or Virgin. Let's see if they have taken full advantage... testing starts on Monday!
Lettuce Grosjean and Esteban! (Gutierrez). Lettuce, obviously, has been driving for a while. Esteban! drove for Sauber in 2013 and 2014, and was a test driver for Ferrari last season.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 22, 2016 08:26 AM (KiM/Y)
I imagine Grosjean can get points if the car supports him. Gutierrez is 24, so unless he's a late bloomer (and keeping in mind we're talking about people who live in rarified air here) I'm guessing he's mostly a seat-warmer until the team proves itself. This all spoken with the normal caveat that I know very little about F1 racing.
Posted by: Ben at February 22, 2016 09:00 AM (DRaH+)
But now that I've ruminated a bit, I have a vague impression that Esteban! had a couple of good races for Sauber. His "minor league" career was certainly promising.
Posted by: Ben at February 22, 2016 12:37 PM (LO5Qy)
According to Wikipedia, Esteban's best F1 finish was 7th in Japan in 2013.
The reason Esteban! is in the second Haas seat is really quite simple: Ferrari wanted him there. Oh, to be sure, his TelMex sponsorship certainly doesn't hurt, but the Scuderia wanted to get him more track time with an eye towards a possible promotion to the Red Team sometime in the future if he does well enough.
The partnership between Haas and Ferrari is really just about one step below full B-Team status... except Haas really doesn't like that appellation. He's made it clear that he's NOT Ferrari's B-Team, and never will be.
I'm sure having Esteban! in the seat got Haas F1 some serious discounts on engines/gearboxes/etcetera, though.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 22, 2016 06:52 PM (KiM/Y)
That makes sense. Sponsorship and patronage in Formula racing is something a lot deeper than in most other sports, I think.
Posted by: Ben at February 22, 2016 07:18 PM (DRaH+)
I sometimes run Haas machines at work, so that livery is pretty much exactly what I was expecting.
I've already had to explain to two Europeans why the American flag is "backwards" on the right side of the car.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at February 22, 2016 08:02 PM (Ykyrg)
I went to Corpus for Christmas break and visited Lex. Took about 3 hours to complete all 5 tour routes.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at February 22, 2016 11:41 PM (XOPVE)
F1 Pr0n: 2016 miniMegaPr0n Part I: Ferrari, McLaren, Williams, Mercedes
With preseason testing starting up at Barcalounger on Monday, many of the teams finally got around to officially showing us what their cars were going to look like this weekend! With this post, I'll touch on the Big Four of Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes. The fifth team that debuted on Sunday will get their own post.
Once testing begins, we should see almost all the rest of the cars, and we'll deal with them in Part II. So what will the high-powered steeds of Formula 1 look like this season? Let's get to lookin'!
That may be the case, at least as complexity goes. However, don't read anything into that; these wings are almost certainly going to be radically different by the time they hit the grid in Australia a month from now.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 22, 2016 12:44 AM (KiM/Y)
Wanna Play World of WarShips?
Hey Binkie! Have you been browsin' this here blog and seen them purty pictures of naval vessels... y'know, like this one:
...or this one:
...or even this one:
...and thought to yerself, "Gee, that looks like a whole heapa good ol' fun. How do I get started?" You have??? Wow, now how's that for a good guess, huh? Yep, that's me, Wonderduck, aka Carnac the Magnificent. Sis boom bah.
Today's your lucky day Binkie! I have in my possession a hermetically sealed envelope. Kept in a #2 mayonnaise jar on the back porch of Funk and Wagnall's since noon today, nobody knows the content of this envelope... except for me.
And soon, you too will know, because I'm about to tell you. IN THIS VERY ENVELOPE is a gift code for a new player of World of Warships. It ONLY works for a new account, not an existing one. With it, you get a free ship, a passel of credits, and a bunch of doubloons, the special currency of the game that you can normally get only via cash. So if you're wanting to play, and you're NOT currently playing the game, let me know in comments so I can get the code to you!
Posted by: Will at February 20, 2016 11:44 PM (1EtXn)
I just realized that all your battles in that game have been in daylight, quite understandably. But historically nearly all major gunnery battles since the Dreadnaught era have been night battles. Day battles were all fought with aircraft, not guns. (Leyte Gulf is one of the rare exceptions, of course.)
Steven, I've seen videos of late twilight battles, but nothing at night. Without a decent fire-control radar system, or a way of illuminating in-game, AND include carriers in the game, too, we'll probably never see a real night fight.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 21, 2016 09:59 AM (KiM/Y)
Oh, I understand why the game runs everything in the day. "Fun" is more important than "Realism", after all. The early-tier ships don't even have radar, and night battles would just be ships stumbling around hoping to find one another.
There is a map that's basically a night map, but it's also set far enough north that the northern lights give everything a green cast. It doesn't impact gameplay in any way.
I've seen references to the eventual inclusion of weather effects, but I doubt they'll have any serious effect on gameplay.
Posted by: Will at February 21, 2016 02:57 PM (1EtXn)
Have the dazzle camo-patterns ever caused you even momentary confusion as the enemy ship type or direction of travel?
Posted by: Siergen at February 22, 2016 06:28 PM (De/yN)
In game, no. The only time it really becomes visible to me is when I'm close enough to be firing over open sights (imagine... boresighting a 16" gun), at which point it's pretty darn clear what type of ship you've got in front of you and which way it's moving.
I suppose it's possible those people playing with BigMcLargeHuge monitors and 10 videocards linked together might have a different experience, though.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 22, 2016 07:05 PM (KiM/Y)
At this point my computer isn't "elite", and I usually build more toward extreme multitasking than single-app performance, but I run the game at max settings and you can't even see the camouflage unless you're close to the other ship or looking through the zoom. At medium and long distances the camo isn't even drawn, as far as I can tell. The main point of the camo-patterns is to change numbers under the hood.
Posted by: Ben at February 22, 2016 07:22 PM (DRaH+)
Some of the premium ships have unusual camo. You can really tell a Kamikaze R from the pattern alone (which is usually a signal to make a radical course change - if one of those buggers pops up, the torps are already inbound!)
Ship type isn't really something you're going to mistake, though - the icon tells you what class of ship it is, and you can see the name and HP bar by holding ALT.
Got my T5 destroyers. These guys tend to have really good or really bad games - you either get your butt shot off right away, or you have one of those fun games where you sink three ships and laugh maniacally as a spread of torps pounds into a Kongo. The latter can be worth a lot of XP.
There are a few ships that play differently - the Kuma feels like a big, unstealthy destroyer, while the Russian DDs are better played like cruisers, hunting other DDs with their guns (you've got the torps to obliterate anything at point-blank range, but that's all the range you've got!)
Having a hard time with the Langley - you just don't have the reserve planes aboard to be able to afford mistakes, and there's a huge difference between T4 and T5 CVs. Would try the Hosho but I'm having an even harder time with the Myogi, which has crappy accuracy plus a serious shortage of guns; it's not even good in a brawl. No wonder they never built it!
Posted by: Avatar at February 24, 2016 05:02 AM (v29Tn)
Weather is supposed to be coming later this year. Given how they've done other things, I expect it will be nifty visuals, and some adjustment to the numbers in the engine to make it harder to spot the enemy and/or hit them, maybe affect your speed, or possibly how long it takes to launch and recover aircraft.
Some of the specialty camouflage patterns are pretty neat. I haven't seen a true razzle-dazzle pattern yet, but I've seen some Cleveland's sporting a pretty wild pattern.
The Myogi is just awful, and it's the only Tier IV ship I still have. Hopefully I'll be able to get the XP I need to upgrade to the Kongo with the next triple experience weekend.
Last night I upgraded from the Langley to the Bogue. As usual, the fully upgraded Langley was superior to a stock Bogue, but that is clearly going to be change once I get some upgrades.
Some of my highest scoring, most fun battles have been in destroyers. If you survive the initial frenzy and get past the enemy cruisers, life is good. On the other hand, my absolute best, most fun, highest scoring battle was in an Omaha when I was the only Tier V ship on my team, and the other team had a Konigsberg to match me and was otherwise Tier III and IV.
Posted by: David at February 24, 2016 12:33 PM (V4nC5)
(In WWI there were a couple of night battles fought between the RN and the Kriegsmarine in the fog. Talk about a naval nightmare, since this was before radar. Finding the enemy was only part of the problem. Finding your own ships was also a challenge. Even figuring out where you yourself were located could be fun. Lots of dead reckoning, emphasis on the "dead".)
The problem with fog is that a lot of the balance between ships is dependent on engagement range and detection range; a general rule of thumb is "the bigger and nastier it is, the further away you can see it". If nobody can see past the end of their nose, that's a huge bonus for the big boys who can loom out of the fog and ruin your day with a single broadside (and a huge nerf for destroyers, who can use torpedoes to do similar things normally, but now have to worry about bumbling into range of stuff that can dismantle them...)
To the extent that there's any balance at all, messing with visibility even further throws that completely out of whack.
Posted by: Avatar at February 25, 2016 05:24 AM (v29Tn)
Another fun thing about fog is you get a lot of friendly fire accidents.
I think you can make an argument for fog working. The match balancing in WoWs isn't just ship against ship, it encompasses the number and types of ship in each team as well. This doesn't always work well, especially on maps that split the side up. Fog could equalize that situation some. Although that does bring up another point that actually bugs me a bit. There is no fire control or radar in any sense related to reality. There is, however, a lot of meta-knowledge that informs how you play different maps. If you know what ships are on your team, you know generally what ships are on the other team. The tactics tend to standardize for certain maps, as well...on the "Race" map you know what's going to happen most of the time. (one of the reasons I like the AI opponent maps is because players are more willing to go one-on-one and engage and spontaneous team-ups...on the vs. maps you usually have one or two people start shouting out the standard formation for the map, and if you disagree with the strategy or are in the wrong location you're just stuck with a bad game)
Fog would remove the ship-to-ship balance, but I think it could add a random factor that would make a lot of games more fun. Maybe WoWs could introduce it as a toggle, "I'm OK with fog games. I understand the balance is changed."
Posted by: Ben at February 25, 2016 10:01 AM (S4UJw)
Steven posted the "friendly fire" comment while I was still typing. That is, unfortunately, the best argument against implementing fog. WoWs has already had to devote a lot of time to managing friendly fire problems.
I had actually thought about this previously. The game already gives you a targeting computer for torpedoes. It shouldn't be a problem to implement a friendly fire warning. Guns shouldn't be any more of a problem than they are. I've accidentally hit friendlies when firing into a crowded area, but the only time I actually severely damaged someone was when my brain refused to grasp the difference between green ships and red ships for 30 seconds.
Posted by: Ben at February 25, 2016 10:07 AM (S4UJw)
Sigh. OK, ok, you win. I'm downloading and checking it out. That much ship pr0n was too much.
The Chesapeake Raider
By 1912, the US Navy had gotten pretty good at the whole dreadnought thing, more or less. They'd commissioned six battleships in three classes, carrying either eight or ten 12" guns in four or five twin turrets. Unlike the Royal Navy or the German Navy which tended to employ "wing" turrets, the US Navy had firmly stuck to putting their turrets on the centerline. In the case of the South Carolina class of ships, this meant while they only had eight guns, they could all fire to one side or the other. The original HMS Dreadnought, on the other hand, carried 10 guns: six on the centerline in three turrets, then a wing turret on either side of the superstructure. Thus both ships could fire eight guns to a broadside, but the SoCar didn't have to carry the extra weight of an extra turret around (note: while it's true that the wing turrets could fire straight ahead or behind, thus giving the Dreadnought an advantage on paper, in practice this was never really done: the gun blasts would damage the ship!). For the fourth class of US battleship, it was decided that 10 main guns just wasn't enough: twelve were needed. And thus was the Wyoming-class born.
The name ship of the class, BB-32, was commissioned in September of 1912 and weighed in at just over 27000 tons at full load. While small for what we now consider a battleship, at the time she was the heaviest ship in the fleet and amongst the heaviest anywhere. She was the first US ship to incorporate an anti-torpedo bulkhead, and her main armor belt was 11" thick. Her machinery could scoot her along at a touch over 20kts at 26000hp. What was uncommon about her was the way her guns were arranged.
Three superfiring turret pairs, all on the centerline: one pair forward of the bridge structure, two pairs aft. One pair was roughly amidships, the other aft. In theory, the four rear turrets could all fire directly astern. In practice? Well... not so much. The superfiring midships turret might be able to, the decklevel one would have serious difficulties.
While I hate to use a videogame representation for this article, good pictures of the ship from the side are hard to come by. At least this way you can clearly see the positioning of the turrets. The rear four were all quite capable of firing "over the shoulder", with clear arcs of fire forward. On the whole, however, the six centerline turret concept can't be considered a success; the extra weight of the turrets, and extra holes pierced through the main deck, put unneeded stress on the body of the ship (the Japanese had similar problems with their Tone-class cruisers, which had five turrets all forward of the bridge).
Once the United States entered World War I, the Wyoming was part of Battleship Division 9. In late 1917, BatDiv9 reinforced the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow, becoming 6th Battle Squadron. The wartime service proved to be relatively unexciting, and Wyoming returned to home waters in April 1919. She bounced back and forth between Atlantic and Pacific Fleets until the early '30s, when she was named flagship of the Training fleet and began her life as a "demilitarized" gunnery training vessel: half her main guns were removed, her anti-torpedo bulges and side armor went away as well. It was at this point she was renumbered as AG-17.
In place of the three removed main turrets, a startling proliferation of smaller guns appeared. From .50cal machinegun mounts to 5" turrets, the Wyoming trained tens of thousands of sailors in the art of naval gunnery of all sorts as World War II got started. Homeported in the Chesapeake Bay area (ergo her nickname of "Chesapeake Raider"), she served in this manner until early 1944. At that time, the last of her 12" guns were removed, replaced instead by more 5" turrets.
With the arrival of the kamikaze threat in the Pacific, the Wyoming became more important than ever, becoming a testbed for anti-kamikaze tactics. It was in this role that she was employed when the war ended. She lasted for a couple more years after that, being decommissioned in 1947 and scrapped at the end of that year. Not so bad for a dreadnought-era vessel, that.
UPDATE: A closeup shows that they're clearly not lights.
Having said that, I'm not entirely sure what's going on here. To me, they look like baskets with... floats?... in them? Like what you'd see on fishing nets. Emergency-use nets, like if they were rescuing survivors they'd throw them over the side to give the survivors something to climb up? I have no idea...
My first guess when I saw those front lines was Wyoming, but then I saw the tiny turrets, and also figured that you wouldn't be that obvious. I should have remembered that she was converted into a training ship and looked for pictures in that version.
Posted by: David at February 16, 2016 11:02 PM (+TPAa)
She reportedly has the distinction of firing more rounds of ammo than any other US ship during WW2. Which makes sense, for a gunnery training ship.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at February 16, 2016 11:08 PM (cXPa7)
The combination of the familiar twin 5"/38 gunhouses that the US Navy put on anything that permitted it, with a hull that still had the outer hull structure for her former casemate guns, were the two clues that allow a quick ID of the WYOMING.
The London Naval Treaty required each of the three major navies (The US, UK, and Japan.) to downgrade a battleship to serve as a gunnery training ship. Japan eventually rearmed and upgraded Hiei, while the Royal Navy seriously considered doing the same to Iron Duke (As well as trying to buy and do the same to the dreadnought they sold to Chile.) but passed on it due to the cost and more importantly, the lack of shipyard capacity. The US Navy also considered rearming WYOMING but passed on them (They still had her original guns and turrets, but it would have required yard capacity that could have been devoted to other things.).
And I think I have another example that might make a fine choice for the next Mystery Ship...
Posted by: cxt217 at February 16, 2016 11:31 PM (bXbgt)
5" guns don't use separate powder charges; the propellant and projectile are all part of a single cartridge.
Not the 5"/38. The 5"/38 used semi-fixed ammunition, where the powder was separate from the projectile. The powder were kept in cannisters when they stored - which is what the racks under Turret 1 seems to be holding.
Posted by: cxt217 at February 17, 2016 12:42 PM (IUagl)
Posted by: flatdarkmars at February 17, 2016 04:42 PM (cXPa7)
Sorry to resurrect a dead thread, but I've been remiss and not read your site for a while. Hope this doesn't die in a span filter for having too many links.
I'm going to go with NOT cases. (Or the things the powder cases came in, which are stubbier-looking.)
I say they're whatever the things on pages 17 and 19 of this NavSource PDF are (hope the link opens the correct page). Floats, or something?
They crop up in a number of places...
Fletchers have them.
USS Massachusetts has them (the two twin 5" mounts you can see the front of, have baskets full of the things).
USS Missouri has them. In many places.
OMG. IOWA HAS SQUARE ONES. Now I'm just super-confused.
Again, Iowa: Mixed square and round ones, super detailed look.
USS Wyoming has them pretty much EVERYWHERE there's a 5" mount.
Q: Whatever they are, why would a training ship need, literally, an order of magnitude more of them?
Posted by: A Bear at March 07, 2016 06:59 PM (6CqxA)
More and more I'm liking my emergency netting with floats idea. I can't help but think that they look like it, particularly the rectangular ones which are pretty clearly tied together.
Q: why would a training ship need, literally, an order of magnitude more of them?
A: because there's more inexperienced crew on a training ship?
I'm not saying I'm right, just that it seems right. I could just as easily be wrong, but still have it seem right.
Kinda like my last few girlfriends (ba-dum-tsssssh!).
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 07, 2016 10:06 PM (KiM/Y)
Some sort of emergency device for helping sailors not drown, agreed. Particularly, look at the ones on the back of the Iowa turret - they're unreachable during normal operations. I imagine, maybe the ship sinks and they float free for something guys can grab on to? In addition to floating, it would help keep men together on the surface for easier location and retrieval.
Another find: Some 1:350 scale model bits for WWII US ships, including "Rope Floats" and the baskets they ride in.
As a training ship, would Wyoming have an unusually large complement, and thus need more safety gear? Or maybe they just added extras in the hope of saving a few more guys, because the spectacle of a thousand raw recruits drowning withing sight of land in the Chesapeake Bay would be bad?
Posted by: A Bear at March 07, 2016 11:57 PM (6CqxA)
Just finished reading The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. They mention these things - rope nets with rubber floats. A bunch of survivors from the Roberts were on one of these lashed to what was left of a life raft after it got gutted by shrapnel. So apparently they work (for a couple days).
Posted by: Avatar at March 08, 2016 05:17 AM (v29Tn)
Name This Mystery Ship XXXI: Don't Call It A Comeback
It's been over a year since the last time I did one of these, but what the hell, here we go again!
As always, CTX and FDM can't play until I take them off the leash. Everybody else, remember the rules: no image searching, no google, nuthin' like that. Just good ol' detective work. You get one guess, so make it count. The winner (as declared by me, and my decision is final) will get a post of their very own about anything they want (no pr0n, politics or religion, however) within reason.
So what are you waitin' for? Get t' guessin'!
UPDATE: Brickmuppet wins with his text message to the Duckphone late this afternoon. A post on this ship (at which point, the name will be revealed!) will be up later tonight. If anybody names the ship before then, I'll be royally peeved, so please don't.
So, starting off, I have no idea and while ex-military, I am not a former naval person. Let's see if we can logic our way into something.
1. It has military lines, so it's not a civilian conversion. It didn't used to be a Liberty Ship or something.
2. Not a destroyer -- too fat.
3. Not an antiaircraft cruiser -- not enough guns.
4. Not an oiler -- too many guns.
5. Peering closely at the rigging, I see lots of support lines (cables? hawsers? wires? sailors always gotta be different). Maybe supports for HF antennae. Also a number of smaller antenna-like squares and spikes. Maybe communications support of some kind.
6. Big picture windows up front, suitable for admirals/generals to gather behind in wet weather. A number of protrusions that might be gun tubs, or that might be viewing balconies for when it's sunny.
Conclusion: amphibious assault command ship, class unknown
Posted by: Found On Web at February 16, 2016 05:29 AM (5AEjT)
FoW, the name of the contest is "Name this Mystery Ship," not "Name this Mystery Type-of-Ship."
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 16, 2016 08:16 AM (KiM/Y)
I don't have any idea what ship it is, but there are a lot of very curious things about it. The guns, for instance: those are 3" guns, not even 5's, which means about all they're good for is antiaircraft fire.
And there are a ridiculous number of places for lookouts on the superstructure. I'd wonder if this was a purpose-built picket ship, except that no one has ever done that to my knowledge.
Just based on the quality of the photo I think this is from the 1950's, and I think FoW is right: amphibious assault command ship.
New around here, but I enjoy torturing people too much, so I could not resist.
I know what this ship is. I'm going to drop two hints.
First, she has an awful number of 5-inch guns, doesn't she? I mean, if someone welded a Fletcher and a Gearing onto a lighthouse ship, you might end up with this. Lots of lookout points, 5-inch single and double mounts everywhere, and all on a real slow hull.
Second, when she was commissioned, her armament was actually much heavier than it is in this picture.
Posted by: asdfsdf at February 16, 2016 09:17 PM (KuYJd)
Apparently in some US cultures, it's traditional for living military veterans to leave coins on the graves of dead military veterans. It might be the same with baseball people. There's also a more elaborate "code" that some US military use:
"Leaving a penny means you visited. A nickel means that you and the deceased soldier trained at boot camp
together. If you served with the soldier, you leave a dime. A quarter
is very significant because it means that you were there when that
soldier was killed.
"So what happens to the coins after Memorial Day? It is collected and
the money is used for cemetery maintenance, the cost of burial for
soldiers, or the care for indigent soldiers."
I suspect that this more elaborate code is not in force for this grave.
Probably the coin custom is ultimately derived from the general Jewish/Irish/Indo-European custom of leaving small stones on graves, as a token that won't blow away or get lost.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 24, 2016 08:51 PM (ZJVQ5)
Random Anime Picture #110: Reluctance -ARIA the Avvenire, Ep01
I'm finding myself reluctant to write the review of the first of three new ARIA episodes. Not because I don't want to, but because of how much I love the series. Watching this special episode, particularly after years of thinking I'd never get to spend more time with these characters, was an intensely personal experience. Don't worry, I will do it, I'm just trying to figure out how to make it feel right without gushing.
If you're a fan of ARIA, you should have watched it by now. If you've never seen the franchise, this is a good time to start watching. If you're NOT a fan of ARIA... well... um...
I welcome all sorts of people to The Pond. Some of my best friends don't like Azumanga Daioh, for example. I'd like to think I'm open-minded enough that I could get along with someone who doesn't like calm, peaceful stories about female gondolieri on Mars.
I liked the first series. I loved it. But I only got10 episodes into
the second one and then I quit. Here's what I wrote:
I really loved Aria, the Animation. It was like meeting the
beautiful girl of my dreams and falling in love with her.
Aria the Natural was like the first time I visited the
family of the girl of my dreams, and found out that the father was an alky, the
mother was a cranky old lady who smoked, and the kid sister was a slut who wore
too much makeup and did drugs.
Neo-Venezia in the first series was a magical place, a place of
wonder, a city as designed by the Disney corporation. It felt like it was part
of the Magic Kingdom. Neo-Venezia in the second series wasn't as nice. There
were cobwebs in the corner. There were dark shadows where something spooky
seemed to be moving when I wasn't looking directly at them. There were ruined
places, abandoned buildings with broken windows.
And I became increasingly uncomfortable spending time with Alicia.
She was my least favorite character in the original series, too, but she was
tolerable. In the second series she started to grate really badly.
I got to episode 10 and finally admitted to myself that I wasn't
having fun anymore.
I adore GATE. Part fantasy story, part JSDF recruitment poster.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 07, 2016 10:18 AM (rKFiU)
I think the old D&D rules did say that all elves got a bonus on all ranged weapons... so I guess that counts.
Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at February 07, 2016 08:41 PM (ZJVQ5)
Steven, yes true, but I felt that was the TOWs were a deescalation from the munitions buildup shown. I mean, after pummeling the targets with a battery of six inch guns, they should have gone with... I dunno... laser-guided bombs or something.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 07, 2016 09:18 PM (KiM/Y)
I think the TOWs were the only thing they had which could outright kill one of the dragons.
F1 Pr0n 2016: (Not The) Renault RS16
Would you believe that it's nearly that time again? Off in the distance, one can hear the engines grumble and the turbos beginning to whine... or is that just people who want the V10s back, it's hard to tell. Formula 1 is just around the corner, and the first of the rollouts didn't occur today. Now, I know you're assuming that I just typo'd up there, but nope, I meant it: the first of the rollouts didn'toccur today. What did happen, though, is that Renault debuted... something. Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to not introduce you to something that isn't the RS16!
As you may or may not remember, the team known as Lotus was about to go legality-plank-up last year, but longtime F1 waffler Renault eventually rescued them from the abyss. Renault is one of the truly important names in the sport, either as an engine manufacturer, a team sponsor, a factory works team, or all of the above at once. They've raced as Equipe Renault Elf, Renault F1 Team, Lotus Renault GP, and won two constructor's championships on their own. They've also supplied engines to championship teams from Williams, Red Bull and Benneton along the way, making them one of the most decorated marques around. Now they're back, officially known as Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, with their car for 2016, the RS16.
Which, in fact, you are not seeing here. Oh, to be sure, the team debuted the car you're seeing here today in a grand presentation, but this isn't the RS16. See, Renault got into Lotus quite late last season and it's known that the dying team had no design on the table for this year... why spend the money when you're not even sure you'll be able to finish 2015? So Renault had to come up with a design on its own, something that can't be done in just a couple of months. What we're undoubtedly looking at here is the chassis of last season's E23 with the new front wing the team ran in the post-season test at Abu Dhabi back in November. Though you can't see it in these pictures, people who know these things have said that the exhaust on this car looks exactly like 2015, which would be against the tech regs for this year.
Hell, Jerome Stoll, president of Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, even said that the livery you see here will change by the first race weekend in Australia. So if the car isn't going to be what you see here, and the paintjob is going to be different, why in the world did Renault even have this event today?
To unveil the team. Let's face it, a lot of people were pretty sure that Renault dragged its feet on the Lotus deal because they were lukewarm on the sport. And, considering the grief they took from Red Bull concerning their engine, who can blame them? This event was clearly a "we're back now" thing, and all things considered, a welcome one. F1 is better off with Renault as a manufacturer than without it.
As near as I can tell, this is the first, and last, scheduled rollout of a car until pre-season testing begins in a couple of weeks. We'll keep an eye out, though, just in case.
I looked up to see if this meant that Lotus didn't exist anymore, and found out that Lotus was already Renault; they just used the Lotus name. And apparently, the Lotus F1 teams haven't had anything to do with Lotus the car manufacturer for years. I had no idea. I understand that Team Doug (for example) could use Mercedes power units; they don't have to provide Team Doug power units...but finding out that Lotus isn't actually Lotus seems weird.
Posted by: Ben at February 05, 2016 12:08 AM (DRaH+)
Yeah, Lotus-the-historic-F1-team-and-car-company basically stopped existing in 1994 or 1995, becoming Lotus-the-historic-car-company.
In 2010, however, we had TWO Lotus F1 teams. The first, Team Lotus, was backed by Malaysia and Malaysian car company Proton, which owns Lotus Cars. The other was Group Lotus, which ran as Lotus Renault GP. Team Lotus technically had the rights to the name; Group Lotus had the backing of the family of Colin Chapman, the founder of the original Lotus.
In 2011, Team Lotus was allowed to use that name, as they were the legal rights holders to it. The other could call themselves Lotus and had the rights to the legendary black-and-gold livery.
Eventually there were lawsuits. Team Lotus turned into Caterham F1, Lotus-Renault became Lotus F1... until the end of last season, when Renault bought them and rebranded them as Renault Sport F1 Team.
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 05, 2016 08:35 AM (KiM/Y)
Am I odd for hoping they don't change the livery too much? I kind of like the yellow spot-color effect.
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 05, 2016 10:28 AM (rKFiU)
That's really a nice color scheme. Now if they could get Casio as sponsor they would already have a matching watch: Behold the Casio F-94WA-9!
Posted by: chris at February 05, 2016 01:22 PM (+v19u)
I quite like it too, GD, particularly the matte spots on the rear. I assume that's bare carbon fiber over "hot spots", but I can't find any confirmation on that anywhere.
The livery will change as soon as they get a sponsor willing to cough up cash (see "Williams-Martini"), or enough little sponsors. I'd die laughing at the self-important Euroscum that sneer at all the sponsorship stickers on NASCAR racers if Renault goes that way...
Posted by: Wonderduck at February 05, 2016 07:44 PM (KiM/Y)
It was late, I was getting tired, and I decided that before I made my way into the embrace of Hypnos, I'd go take a few ships out for a sink in World of Warships (I'd had a run of bad luck recently). Once I had signed on, I discovered that Avatar was online as well... and shortly thereafter, we had been joined by David. After a few successful battles, I finally realized that I was on the verge of falling asleep in my chair. I called for one last fight, but we needed to get some glamour shots of the squadron before we packed it in. Av and David both agreed. David brought out his brand-spankin'-new Wyoming-class dreadnought, while Av and I decided to play escort in our St Louises.
click for bigger if you'd like
Since David was both larger and less able to maneuver than our more nimble cruisers (and this is probably the only time you'll hear a St Louis described as "nimble"), the task of getting close fell to us. Av's declaration that we'd "get close enough to jackstaff cargo" notwithstanding, it proved to be slightly more difficult than I expected. On the other hand, Avatar's crew was playing frisbee with David's, so what do I know? For the record, that's Avatar at the top, David in the middle, and yours truly at the bottom.
Closest approach. Throughout the night, the three of us seemed like we'd been maneuvering together for years. Indeed, at one point I was in my South Carolina and the other two in St Loo's, and the way the game started put them in front of me. The game began, Avatar moved a kilometer ahead of David, and I was a klick behind, bringing up the rear. The appearance of a bad guy off to port made Avatar call for our merry band to head that way... and from my vantage point, all three of us began the 90-degree turn at the same time, and finished the turn at the same time. Like we had planned it that way, and had drilled in the battle turn together for weeks. It was really quite cool.
Alas, my position at the left of the formation meant that I was on the "shadow side", and thus all side shots were silhouetted against the setting sun. I could not pivot my camera around far enough to get a shot from the right side of our band and still get all three of us in the shot. Fortunately, David took advantage of not having to do anything but motor straight ahead and got some decent shots himself; by all means, click on it for a larger version. Look at that battleship, all dolled up in a purty camouflage and stuff.
Alas, all good things must come to an end, mostly because the bad guys finally showed up and it was time for us to go to work. It was a good match, but really, the most fun was our attempt at imitating the Blue Angels in ship form. We honestly cleaned up, our little band doing a good job while being slightly outnumbered. Towards the end of the match, however, my discipline broke down as I laid eyes on the one sight every surface skipper wants to see in battle.
"CARRIER!" followed by sadistic chuckling. Now, this particular carrier had been a pain in the butt all game, so it was with pleasure that I gave it broadside after broadside, setting it ablaze a few times... until I racked up three citadel hits in one volley. Understand: in WoWS, citadel hits are like hitting a grand slam home run. A single citadel hit can take half a battleship's HP away. Three of them at once on a carrier? Surprisingly, it didn't sink from that, but if I had sneezed on it, it probably would have capsized. It only took one more hit for it to get all splodey. Good times, good times.
It looks pretty, but it's definitely not in my fun-time-gaming strike zone. Sorry!
(I picked up Diablo III this weekend, after playing through the "Starter" edition, cackling with glee.)
Posted by: GreyDuck at February 02, 2016 08:31 AM (rKFiU)
Alas. Seems like you guys get on way too late for me. 5a.m. wakeup calls and wrestling a toddler in the evenings means at best 30 to 60 minutes of free time to blow stuff up. Usually around 8:30 CST.
Posted by: Will at February 02, 2016 11:02 AM (HeopI)
5 AM is when I turn in for the night. Evening shift is a bit inconvenient but has its own advantages...
Posted by: Avatar at February 02, 2016 01:48 PM (v29Tn)
I enjoy World of Warships, but only in small bits. I'll play for a week or so, then get tired of the grind and put it down for a month. Rinse and repeat. I'm almost to the US carriers and t5 ships, but my St. Louis is my favorite ship to use, though I enjoy my destroyers too.
Tom, if you get tired of the grind and you don't have Tier V ships or carriers yet, this is not the game for you
I binged on the game for the first two weeks after I started playing, and that got me to Tier IV across the board, as well as my first carrier and my first Tier V cruiser. After that I slowed down a bit, and I got my second Tier V cruiser last night. I expect to get the last one tonight. The Tier V destroyers are many battles out, and I don't even want to think how many more battles I'll have to play to get a Tier V battleship or carrier.
The weekend events where they hand out free XP bonuses make a huge difference, and the occasional day of free premium status also can be a big help if you can actually play a lot during that window. Last weekend, when they were running triple XP, I had several matches that paid out over 4k XP.
Of course, the best thing you can do to earn XP is to get into high tier battles, survive, win, and inflict tons of damage to as many enemy targets as possible. Easy!
Posted by: David at February 11, 2016 01:39 PM (o7Exq)