CS Alert, or HMTS Alert, was a cable-laying ship that had a significant role in World War I. She was launched in 1871 for the Submarine Telegraph Company with the name The Lady Carmichael. In 1890 the ship was acquired by the General Post Office (GPO) as part of the nationalisation of the British telegraph network. At the outbreak of World War I, Alert was immediately dispatched to cut German telegraph cables in the English Channel, seriously damaging Germany's ability to securely communicate with the rest of the world. Alert was taken out of service as a cable ship in 1915 but her cable-handling gear was retained for fitting on her replacement. After the war, she worked as a merchant ship under various names, finally being wrecked at Redcar under the name Norham in 1932.
- "CS Alert (1890)" | 2019-08-29 | 35 Upvotes 17 Comments
- "XOR Linked List" | 2012-05-03 | 153 Upvotes 84 Comments
- "Things you shouldn't do: Two pointers in one field." | 2010-05-16 | 42 Upvotes 20 Comments
- "XOR Linked List: A Curious List Structure" | 2007-12-03 | 10 Upvotes 3 Comments
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (; 9 April 1806 – 15 September 1859) was a British civil engineer who is considered "one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history", "one of the 19th-century engineering giants", and "one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions". Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway (GWR), a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionised public transport and modern engineering.
Though Brunel's projects were not always successful, they often contained innovative solutions to long-standing engineering problems. During his career, Brunel achieved many engineering firsts, including assisting in the building of the first tunnel under a navigable river and the development of SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven, ocean-going, iron ship, which, when launched in 1843, was the largest ship ever built.
On the GWR, Brunel set standards for a well-built railway, using careful surveys to minimise gradients and curves. This necessitated expensive construction techniques, new bridges, new viaducts, and the two-mile (3.2 km) long Box Tunnel. One controversial feature was the wide gauge, a "broad gauge" of 7 ft 1⁄4 in (2,140 mm), instead of what was later to be known as "standard gauge" of 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm). He astonished Britain by proposing to extend the GWR westward to North America by building steam-powered, iron-hulled ships. He designed and built three ships that revolutionised naval engineering: the SS Great Western (1838), the SS Great Britain (1843), and the SS Great Eastern (1859).
In 2002, Brunel was placed second in a BBC public poll to determine the "100 Greatest Britons". In 2006, the bicentenary of his birth, a major programme of events celebrated his life and work under the name Brunel 200.
A midget submarine (also called a mini submarine) is any submarine under 150 tons, typically operated by a crew of one or two but sometimes up to 6 or 9, with little or no on-board living accommodation. They normally work with mother ships, from which they are launched and recovered and which provide living accommodation for the crew and support staff.
Both military and civilian midget submarines have been built. Military types work with surface ships and other submarines as mother ships. Civilian and non-combatant military types are generally called submersibles and normally work with surface ships.
Most early submarines would now be considered midget submarines, such as the United States Navy's USS Holland (SS-1) and the British Royal Navy's HMS Holland 1.
- "Midget submarine" | 2019-08-08 | 22 Upvotes 9 Comments
Pourquoi Pas? IV (English: Why Not? IV) was the fourth ship built for Jean-Baptiste Charcot, which completed the second Charcot expedition of the Antarctic regions from 1908 to 1910. Charcot died aboard when the ship was wrecked on 16 September 1936, off the coast of Iceland. Of the forty men on board, only one survived.
- "Pourquoi-Pas (1908)" | 2019-09-08 | 38 Upvotes 10 Comments
Project Habakkuk or Habbakuk (spelling varies) was a plan by the British during the Second World War to construct an aircraft carrier out of pykrete (a mixture of wood pulp and ice) for use against German U-boats in the mid-Atlantic, which were beyond the flight range of land-based planes at that time. The idea came from Geoffrey Pyke, who worked for Combined Operations Headquarters. After promising scale tests and the creation of a prototype on a lake (Patricia Lake, Jasper National Park) in Alberta, Canada, the project was shelved due to rising costs, added requirements, and the availability of longer-range aircraft and escort carriers which closed the Mid-Atlantic gap the project was intended to address.
- "Project Habakkuk, Britain's plan to build an aircraft carrier from ice" | 2019-01-13 | 13 Upvotes 1 Comments
A rotor ship is a type of ship designed to use the Magnus effect for propulsion. The ship is propelled, at least in part, by large powered vertical rotors, sometimes known as rotor sails. German engineer Anton Flettner was the first to build a ship that attempted to tap this force for propulsion, and ships using his type of rotor are sometimes known as Flettner ships.
The Magnus effect is a force acting on a spinning body in a moving airstream, which produces a force perpendicular to both the direction of the airstream and the axis of the rotor.
- "Rotor ships, aka Flettner ships" | 2011-02-17 | 31 Upvotes 8 Comments
The ship's cat has been a common feature on many trading, exploration, and naval ships dating to ancient times. Cats have been carried on ships for many reasons, most importantly to control rodents. Vermin aboard a ship can cause damage to ropes, woodwork, and more recently, electrical wiring. Also, rodents threaten ships' stores, devour crews' foodstuff, and could cause economic damage to ships' cargo such as grain. They are also a source of disease, which is dangerous for ships that are at sea for long periods of time. Rat fleas are carriers of plague, and rats on ships were believed to be a primary vector of the Black Death.
Cats naturally attack and kill rodents, and their natural ability to adapt to new surroundings made them suitable for service on a ship. In addition, they offer companionship and a sense of home, security and camaraderie to sailors away from home.
- "Ship's cat" | 2014-03-03 | 277 Upvotes 72 Comments
SkySails GmbH & Co. KG is a Hamburg-based company that sells kite rigs to propel cargo ships, large yachts and fishing vessels by wind energy. Ships are pulled by an automatically-controlled foil kite of some hundreds of square meters. For multiple reasons, they give many times the thrust per unit area of conventional mast-mounted sails.
The systems save fuel, and reduce carbon emissions and shipping costs, but have not been widely adopted.
- "SkySails" | 2019-07-04 | 126 Upvotes 42 Comments
Storm oil is the deliberate use of oil to calm an area of water. It has been claimed that it has been used to calm seas to facilitate rescues. Oil was usually carried in a bag which would be released onto the water or in a container which would slowly deploy the oil.
- "Storm Oil" | 2020-01-14 | 25 Upvotes 3 Comments