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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Roman Galley - Artery Blood Flow of Cargo for Rome's Mighty Empire


The galley was the main type of ship used by the Roman Empire. Over the years it changed little though there were variations of size. These ships were off shoots of the Greek style vessels called Trireme. These Greek ships were very big galleys that required around 250 personnel. There were rows of oarsman and two masts. Because they were so big, Ancient Greece could not afford to make many.



When the Roman Empire came about, they took the idea of the Greek Trireme but reduced its size. This allowed them to make more and get a better overall output concerning logistics for overseas cargo and military capabilities.

The smaller Roman versions of what we now call galley ships were built on a large scale to service the growing Empire. One of the biggest Roman military ships was called a Quinquereme. Some historians call this a fiver due to the arrangement of decks and rowers. This ship was still not as big as the Ancient Greek Trireme, but was formidable as part of a fleet fighting pirates. These big vessels were used throughout the sea lanes of Rome's vast empire.
Most of the rowers were slaves or the lower of the five social classes, plus there were other navel ratings aboard. To get maximum effect from a ship’s company of rowers – whatever the size of the sea going vessel – there was a rating aboard who sat at the stern of the ship. He was above overling the deck tiers of the rowers. This man was called a Pasarius or Hortator and he would bang a drum to urge the rowers.  They were encouraged to sing in tune with the rowing strokes. This kept the galley oars working in unison among large numbers of slave oarsman. It also gave maximum propulsion with a coordinated rowing system.
Hortator
The sails consisted of a small mast to the bow of the ship with a main sail amidships when out on the high seas. There was also steering rudders at the port and starboard side of the stern.
Reconstruction of a small Galley that patrolled the River Rhine in Germany
Smaller versions of the Roman galley were used for different functions. One such vessel was called a Lembi. This was used for land patrol and up river tributaries. A sort of coastal defence vessel. These craft had limited proficiencies but were good for transporting small cargo or patrols of skirmishing soldiers.

Some of the older Roman vessels, or even adapted Lembi galleys, were converted into transporters called Bireme. However, they all had the oarsman for maximum propulsion and the front small sail with larger central sail.

Below are scale pictures of various sized and named Roman Galleys.



Saturday, 19 November 2011

Moyra Melons Ear Rings on the Notability Scale

Moyra Melons was thinking about the way she might look sitting at a desk in the work place. She wanted her nice pearl ear rings to stand out and look good. Therefore she asked her husband to stand above her, while she was practising sitting on the garden bench.
"Right, pretend I'm sitting at my desk in the office," she said. "When you look down; can you notice them?"

"Well yes," he replied. "I can certainly see something."

"Yes but are they the first two things you notice," asked Moyra a little impatiently. She found it essential that her ear rings should be noticed. 

"Well not exactly the first two things dear, but they do come in a good second."

"That's no good - I want people to notice my ear rings first thing above all else. Is that a tall order?"

Her husband grinned and came over in another hot flush. "I think it might be Moyra."

"Why?" she asked a little perplexed.

"Well let's pretend I'm your work boss and I'll ask you to come into my office. There I can explain the finer points of why your ear rings will always look nice but still come second on the looking down notabilityometer."

"The looking down notabilityometer? I've never heard of such a thing," she replied tartly while following her husband into the house pretending it was his office. She thought she would indulge him on this particular matter. He told her she scored an amazing 11 out of 10 with this strange device when he looked down.

However, once he closed the door, she realised her indulgence stretched to two more things because of his notabilityometer. The lovely Moyra Melons got more then she bargained for... :)  

Paul and Robert Powell in United Kingdom 1988 - two of my four sons - Colin Powell

Paul is now twenty six and Robbie is twenty four. This is them in 1988. I've put it on here so as it will not be lost. It is the only moving footage I have of any of my sons at this age. I lost all the other old VHS tapes of them. I wished I still had them, but live in hope that they might be found in the ex-wife's loft.


video

Thursday, 17 November 2011

True Discovery - Europa's Great Lakes - Water on another world



If you like the above; you'll definitely enjoy the BBC video link below. Scientists are now convinced that Jupiter's moon, Europa has liquid water beneath the frozen ice crust. Please click on the lower link for an exciting BBC report on this scientific discovery of liquid water believed to beneath the frozen crust of Europa.



Friday, 4 November 2011

Taranto attacked by Royal Navy Fairey Swordfish


This is a CGI creation of Fairey Swordfish attacking Taranto in Italy 1940. The Royal Navy were able to launch a sneak attack with these obsolete biplanes and catch the Italian fleet at anchor in the port of Taranto. They managed to inflict great damage and return with the loss of two planes.

The Japanese made a study of this British attack and would learn things for 1941 when their carrier forces launched a devastating attack on the USA at Perl Harbour.

Fairey Swordfish attack on Bismarck.


During World War Two, Germany and Italy had some very fine battleships but no aircraft carriers. The Germans had the Graf Zeppelin aircraft carrier but it was never fully completed and never saw active service with aircraft. This was a big miss for the two Axis powers and gave the Royal Navy an advantage at sea with obsolete aircraft called Fairey Swordfish (Stringbags.) Far out at sea, the Fairey Swordfish had no rival because enemy, land based, aircraft could not reach them.

These antiquated biplanes were able to attack huge battleships and inflict serious damage. In 1941 the stringbag was responsible for bringing about the battleship Bismarck's terrible demise. The formidable German ship broke out into the Atlantic to hunt British convoys. She could fall upon the merchants ships like a wolf upon sheep. The Bismarck destroyed a British Battleship called H.M.S. Hood with over 1,500 crew when her huge guns scored a direct hit on the Hood's Magazine. Only three sailors survived the horrendous attack.

As Bismarck cruised on, a British aircraft carrier sent out Fairey Swordfish to make a number of attacks upon the German Battleship. They could not sink her, but were able to inflict crippling damage to Bismarck's rudder.

The Royal Navy was then able to close in with many ships from different directions and destroy Bismarck - a huge ship that succumb on her first mission, due to the obsolete Fairey Swordfish (Stringbag.)