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onetrack last won the day on January 13

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About onetrack

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  1. There have never been any fatalities from dam failure in Australia that I'm aware of. In fact, dam failure events in Australia are very rare and confined to smaller dams that were built many decades ago and which have not had adequate engineering design input. We have virtually no dam failure problems (or potential problems) in Australia because we have: 1. Good engineering standards for dam construction 2. Mostly earthen-bank construction dams that are more robust than pure concrete dams 3. A lack of severe earthquakes, or potential for major landslips into dam reservoirs Most people imagine a dam burst as an explosive burst of a dam wall, as shown in the movies. In practice, this type of event is extremely rare (except when your dam is bombed, a la 617 Sqdn.) The largest percentage of dam failures are caused by exceptionally high and prolonged rainfall events causing severe overtopping of the dam wall, or spillway failure due to the spillways inadequate size, to be able to cope with massive downpours that are outside the calculated rainfall events (generally a "1 in 100 year" flood). Even at that, dam failures usually give adequate warning of impending failure and time to evacuate people in danger. However, there have been some spectacular dam failures in places such as America, often as a result of poor engineering coupled with a high rainfall event. The most spectacular American dam failure was the Teton Dam, in 1976. It collapsed in broad daylight over a period of hours, as it was being filled for the first time. The failure was due entirely to an appalling choice of unsuitable construction material, and positioning of the dam over porous ground. 11 people still died in the Teton Dam failure, despite warnings to evacuate - but the dam collapsed faster than evacuation could be carried out. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teton_Dam
  2. onetrack

    Quickies part 2

    That's so baa-a-a-ad!!
  3. And right there is the reason why the EV takeup is slow, and they're still selling diesel dual cab utes like there's no tomorrow. You can buy enough fossil fuel to keep yourself going for 30 years, in the price difference between a dual cab ute and a Tesla. Not until EV's become reasonably priced, will I ever consider one. My 2013 diesel Hilux cost me under $16,000 with low kms, and it's got 1 tonne carrying capabilities, as well as 2.5 tonne towing ability. On top of that, I'll get 15 years trouble-free use out of it, and I'll still get good money for it, when I want to quit it. I have yet to see the resale value of a used Tesla.
  4. Probably more importantly, to whom is this "Force" going to apply force to?? - and using what powers and weapons?? If they run into any aliens, they will probably zap their "Force" with weapons so advanced, the Yanks will have no idea what hit them.
  5. Old K - Sorry, I've mixed up the location and events of the Japanese officers stories, it was quite a while ago when I read it, so wasn't the Japs on the Kokoda track that I read about, when I was trying to remember the story of snow in PNG. You're correct, the Owen Stanleys aren't high enough to have snow. Fortunately, I've found the stories again, and the event that I remembered was the Japanese officer relating the Japs retreat from Lae to Kiari - whereby they had to cross the Saruwaged Range - which peaks at 4,121M. There are photos on the 'net, of snow on the Saruwaged Track, and the associated Mount Bangeta, the high point of the Saruwaged Range. The Japs retreating from Lae were mostly half-starved before they left, and the officer relates how they lost 4 in 10 men crossing the Saruwaged Range. The Japanese officer relating the events in PNG during WW2 is the Japanese Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Yoshihara Kane. His entire campaign story is under the "Southern Cross" heading. I'll just link the page I found the mountain range snow story on - it's a joint AWM-Japanese story site, and it's very good. The retreat from Lae is covered in Chapter 11 below, "Enemy at Buso-Nadzab". Chapter 11 - http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/AJRP/AJRP2.nsf/pages/NT0000B26A?openDocument
  6. There are two major repair problems with current model vehicles. One is, the amount of componentry that is built to NOT be repairable. Sealed components, and individual parts unavailable, stop items from being repaired. Typical is the power windows in the Falcons. I owned a new Falcon Ghia Wagon once, and after 18 months, the drivers power window failed to go up. The problem was a stripped plastic gear in the window regulator gearbox. But you couldn't buy the gear, you had to buy the entire power window regulator mechanism - the motor, the gearbox and the window lift arms - at a cost of about $180, back in the early 1990's. The second repair failing is the need to buy vehicle-exclusive special tools and electronic repair equipment, that cannot be used on anything else. Every second component on a BMW requires special tools for removal and replacement. The BMW's don't use a standard OBD code reader. They use the standard OBD plug, but unless you have the specific BMW code reader, you can't acquire the fault error information. It's just an ongoing bleeding operation on BMW owners. The Falcon Ghia I owned had Climate Control fitted. It worked fine for 20,000 kms, then it packed up. I sent it to the Ford dealer for repair, and they told me what a fantastic device they were. The service manager advised the CC microprocesser mounted in the dash was capable of fault-finding on a huge scale. You only had to press several buttons together in the right order, and it broke the circuitry up into 10 sections, and it self-tested every section, and found and identified the fault. "So show me!", I said. He pressed the right buttons in the right order, and the dash display said, "No Error Found". "Well, that's not right, because it's stopped working!", I said. The SM was perplexed. "O.K., we'll have to get it into the workshop and go through it with the big diagnostic computer", he said. I returned later in the day to pick it up, and the SM said it was fixed. "We found the problem! It was a dirty fuse on the back of the A/C compressor", he said. So, off I went. The CC was working fine - for about 4 hrs, then it stopped working again. I took the car back, told them it had stopped working again, and the SM said they would go through it again with the diagnostic computer. I returned late in the day again, and it was fixed. "The problem was, the microprocessor itself was shot!", said the SM. "So it couldn't self-test and diagnose any faults! - it can't test itself!". Then he goes on to say -"We'll fix this under warranty, even though it's just over the 20,000kms, and technically outside warranty. You wouldn't want to have to pay the cost of replacing the microprocessor, its listed at $930 retail!" "Yes", I said, "and you and I know, that there's only $25 worth of silicon chips in the whole box and dice! It's a total ripoff, and I'll wager you can't repair the microprocessor, either!" "You're right", he said. "We had one in here previously that crapped itself, and the car belonged to an electrical engineer. He wanted the old unit, so he could pull it apart and see if he could repair it!" "He took it home and came back a week later, and said - 'I can replace all the smaller components such as the resistors, capacitors, transistors, etc - but at the heart of the device is a small sealed electronic component, that I have no information on, and it is marked 'VDO' - and obviously made by them - but VDO will not provide that sealed electronic component separately, and neither will they reveal what is inside it, nor will they reveal the wiring diagram for it!' - so that ended that repair attempt!" This is just some of the typical design stunts, all designed to keep shafting modern car owners, and to ensure repairable items are not repaired, and you become obliged to purchase a complete new assembly - or another car. I have seen older Hyundais scrapped simply because their main engine ECU failed - and Hyundai wanted $1500 or more to replace the ECU and re-code it. This was often nearly as much as the car was worth, so the car was scrapped.
  7. I was surprised to find little by way of hotbox descriptions or photos on the AWM site. Only a couple of photos, with no real emphasis on the hotbox itself. Strange, considering how important they were, to so many people. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C36828 https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C255116
  8. Yes, I believe you're right there, Methuselah. But this poor level of return is simply one of corporate bullying behaviour, caused the by simple fact that so many corporations (U.S. ones in particular) are so huge, and have so much wealth and power, they completely overwhelm politicians with their greedy negotiating stance. These corporations are often 10 to 50 times bigger than the Govts they deal with. They use subtle threats such as promising to take away thousands of jobs, and multiple millions of income to countries, or specific areas of the country, if they don't get what they want - which is simply a level of unjust enrichment on a par with the banking sector. We are not alone, there is a long list of countries who've been ripped off by corporate greed, and which in numerous cases, has led to demonstrations, violent riots, and even war. Bougainville is a classic, and we'd be seeing the same in Papua with the Grasberg Mine, if the Papuans were as violent and organised as the Bougainvilleians. As it is, Freeport-McMoRan simply use the Indonesians as a de-facto army to protect their mine and enormous income.
  9. I think the architects there are trying to get away from the hideous "ugly repetitive grey boxes" style of architecture, and have done the best they could within the constraints of money available, and limitiations of the buildings shape. So, on that basis, they are at least trying. I don't find them hideous, but I couldn't say they are exceptionally attractive, either. We have no-one like Walter Chrysler or Antoni Gaudi here, to produce stylish architecture like the Chrysler Building or the Sagrada Familia - which is a shame. Even the houses Gaudi built are exceptional.
  10. Very little is repairable on todays vehicles, apart from a few outer panels. They utilise thinner section steel that is high-tensile, to obtain increased body strength. When your car of today is hit, any little wrinkles or crimps in the body structure will immediately cause it to be declared a Statutory Write Off (SWO), which can never be repaired, as its structural safety has been compromised. Even electrical damage will render one of todays vehicles an SWO, because so many of the vehicles safety features rely on satisfactory electrical condition and performance. It's SOP to write off any vehicle that has had water inside it, more than 150mm deep over the floor level. This is because so many safety-related devices are located under seats, in the footwells, and on the floor, such as ECU's. Below is a link to a handbook for evaluating a damaged vehicle as to whether it is repairable, or an SWO. It's a real eye-opener, it takes very little to write a vehicle off today. https://www.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/8922/MR1466.pdf
  11. Old K - I read the first-hand story of the 5th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force a few years ago, it was written by one of their surviving officers, and his story is one of incredible fortitude. The story was online, I can't find it now. I was quite surprised to find him relating how they went through the snowline to get to Kokoda. I didn't even think that there would be snow up there, but then, when one thinks of the heights of the Owen Stanleys, then it makes sense. There's a huge gold-copper mine in Papua, the Freeport-McMoRan Grasberg mine. It's the worlds largest mine, and it operates over a massive range of altitude, from steamy jungle, right up into the snowline. They push raw ore in large rock form, from the top of the mine into a vertical shaft, which is about 800 metres deep from memory. The fall fractures the rock into small pieces, and saves them a fortune in crushing costs.
  12. The woman journalist who dug up the old NSW Forestry Commission files, and who found the "scorched earth" plans of Edward Harold Fulcher Swain, the NSW Forestry Commissioner of the time, is Sue Rosen. She has written a book, entitled, "Scorched Earth, Australia’s Secret Plan for Total War", it will be released by the publishers, Allen and Unwin on May 24 this year, and will retail at $32.99.
  13. Bruce, we have to view the Kokoda effort in the light of the known situation at the time. Information was scant about the Japanese and their movements (apart from knowing they were coming down the Owen Stanleys to probably take Port Moresby), communications were non-existent, PNG maps were non-existent, intelligence was also non-existent, and no-one back in Australia had any idea of the fighting conditions. Then there was the military attitude of the day, of "taking the fight to the enemy". It was more than likely believed that if the Japs reached the outskirts of Port Moresby, they would be able to take it, or observe it, and direct attacks on it. In addition, it is a primary military tenet, that you take and hold the high ground. Whoever holds the high ground holds the tactical advantage. The Australians were intent on taking and holding the high ground in the Owen Stanleys. The greatest failing of the initial Kokoda action, was lack of intelligence on what weapons the Japanese had backing them up. It was almost unbelievable to the Australian and American military commanders, that the Japs 5th Sasebo Special Naval Landing Force had dragged artillery pieces with them, up the face of the Owen Stanleys, from Gona - an incredible feat, which paid off for them, when they met the Australians. The Australians had no long range weapons, they thought it was impossible to get them up into the mountains, and the Jap mountain artillery pieces exacerbated the number of Australian deaths, in the early stages of the Kokoda campaign. https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/3a7f218a-d2d6-49fd-b6f6-240a55058ed2/files/awm-kokoda-report.pdf
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