Quotulatiousness

August 21, 2017

Top Five Tanks – Indy Neidell

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 11 Aug 2017

For the fourth in our Top 5 series, Great War Channel presenter Indy Neidell came to The Tank Museum to share his 5 favourite tanks. https://www.youtube.com/TheGreatWar

It’s all about opinions, so please feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below.

Whose Top 5 would you like to see next?

August 20, 2017

Getting out of EUrope

Filed under: Britain, Europe, Politics — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 05:00

At Samizdata, Brian Micklethwait encourages the Brexiteers, as staying in the EU is clearly not a viable option:

The EU is very complicated and confusing, which is a big reason for Brexit. But also very complicated and confusing, say the Remainers, is the process of Britain getting out of the EU. For that reason, they say, best to stay in. But I say that the more complicated and confusing it is to get Britain out, the more reason there is for Britain to get out. The more complicated getting out is, that means the more complicated the damn thing itself must be. The question becomes: Which is better? Complication for a year or three, while we extricate ourselves from this ghastly morass? Or: Complication for ever as we sink ever deeper into it? I say we should, you know, go with the result of the Referendum, and get out. Happily, that is now happening.

[…]

Another Remainer argument which has a similar logical structure is that the EU, in addition to being diabolically complicated and confusing to get out of, on account of itself being diabolically complicated and confusing, is also determined to stop us Brits getting out easily. The only exit terms we will ever be able to extract from it will be crushingly punitive. Ergo, we should stay.

Britain’s exit deal may indeed prove costly to us. If EUrope lets us out easy, other rebellious bits of EUrope may also then try to leave.

The EU’s negotiating team is likely to operate under detailed instructions for maximum punishment of the British traitors. They need to make Brexit as painful as possible, to deter les autre, but not so painful that Britain just walks away from the table. That will be quite a challenge, which is why the British media are clamouring for the British government to lay out their negotiating strategy in great detail … to ensure that the EU has as much leverage as possible.

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part 3)

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 18 Aug 2017

Took us long enough, but we finally arrived at tier 8, and here’s where the real fun begins.

Music in Conqueror segment – “In A World of Derp” by D1 of Aquavibe.

August 18, 2017

The Battle of Hill 70 – Mackensen Advances in Romania I THE GREAT WAR Week 160

Filed under: Britain, Cancon, Germany, History, Military — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 17 Aug 2017

The Battle of Passchendaele has turned into a muddy mess, the weather conditions take a toll on both the defenders and the attackers alike. The Canadians relieve some pressure on the British Army in the Battle of Hill 70 south of Ypres. Meanwhile, August von Mackensen is fighting back the Romanian offensive that was unleashed last week.

August 17, 2017

HMS Queen Elizabeth enters Portsmouth harbour

Filed under: Britain, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 05:00

At The Register, Gareth Corfield reports from Portsmouth as the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth visits her new home port for the first time:

Royal Navy aircraft fly over HMS Queen Elizabeth as she enters Portsmouth harbour. Click to see full-sized photo.

Britain’s newest warship, its biggest warship of all time, HMS Queen Elizabeth, entered Portsmouth Harbour for the first time this morning.

The 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier entered the port at 0710 this morning under the watchful eye of half a dozen tugboats, a small flotilla of police vessels – and crowds of thousands lining the sea front along Portsmouth and Southsea.

In addition, scores of smaller civil vessels accompanied the carrier at a respectful distance. A flypast of Royal Navy helicopters and fast jets – Hawk training aircraft – also took place as the carrier made her stately way towards the naval base.

Admiral Lord West, the former head of the navy and now a Labour Party peer, told The Register as the ship came in: “This is a very joyous day. She looks splendid. We had lost sight of our maritime capability. This is something very special for Portsmouth and the Navy.”

When asked if the Queen Elizabeth-class carriers were necessary, the admiral said: “The one thing you can’t guarantee is what will happen tomorrow. When they’ve got their fixed wing assets, they’ll be one of the only capabilities [the UK has that will have] a strategic impact. It’s 4.5 acres of British sovereign territory.”

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless Her! (Part Two)

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, History, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 16 Aug 2017

In which I attempt to cover the British tier 7 – 10 Battleships, but can’t stop running my mouth off about the King George V and Nelson so it looks like we’ll be back later this week to finish.

August 16, 2017

World of Warships – The Queen, God Bless her!

Filed under: Britain, Gaming, Military — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 15 Aug 2017

Join me in the traditional Royal Navy toast to the Monarch, as I raise a glass to the long awaited British Battleships in World of Warships. Thank God they don’t suck!

Mostly.

August 15, 2017

The Civil Service on Helping Foreign Nations

Filed under: Britain, Bureaucracy, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 23 Nov 2010

Taken from Yes, Prime Minister

August 13, 2017

War-Weariness I THE GREAT WAR Summary Part 10

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, Germany, History, Military, Russia — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 12 Aug 2017

In this special Recap Episode we summarize the events from May to July 1917. Two major Allied spring offensives at Arras and on the Aisne come to an end with mixed results. The Macedonian Front flares up again as does the 10th Battle of the Isonzo. Mutiny in the French army. A stunning British victory at the Battle of Messines. A vicious battle on the heights of Mount Ontigara. The first American troops are landing in France. July sees the great strides of the Kerensky offensive featuring the Russian Women´s Battalion of Death. A showdown between the Bolsheviks and the Provisional Government. The first usage of the dreaded Mustard Gas.

QotD: The measurement problem in government

Filed under: Britain, Government, Health, Quotations — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 01:00

Now take health insurance. (Or, if you live, like me, in a country with a national healthcare system that has a single comprehensive payer, the health system.) There are periodic suggestions that we should punish bad behaviour, behaviour that increases medical costs: Scotland has an alcoholism problem so we get the Alcohol (Minimum Pricing)(Scotland) Act, 2012. Obesity comes with its own health risks, and where resource scarcity exists (for example, in surgical procedures), some English CCGs are denying patients treatment for some conditions if they are overweight.

It should be argued that these are really stupid strategies, likely to make things worse. Minimum alcohol pricing is regressive and affects the poor far more than the middle-class: it may cause poor alcoholics to turn the same petty criminality observed among drug addicts, to fund their habit. And denying hip replacements to overweight people isn’t exactly going to make it easier for them to exercise and improve their health. But because we can measure the price of alcohol, or plot someone’s height/weight ratio on a BMI chart, these are what will be measured.

It’s the classic syllogism of the state: something must be controlled, we can measure one of its parameters, therefore we will control that parameter (and ignore anything we can’t measure directly).

Charles Stross, “It could be worse”, Charlie’s Diary, 2015-10-09.

August 12, 2017

Why The Government Shouldn’t Break WhatsApp

Filed under: Britain, Government, Law, Liberty, Technology — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 3 Jul 2017

Encryption backdoors – breaking WhatsApp and iMessage’s security to let the government stop Bad Things – sounds like a reasonable idea. Here’s why it isn’t.

A transcript of this video’s available here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/tom-scott/why-the-government-shouldnt-break-whatsapp/1378434365572557/

August 10, 2017

The Treaty of Westphalia

Filed under: Britain, Europe, France, History, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 20 Nov 2008

Treaty of Westphalia

August 9, 2017

The Falklands War – A War for Lost Glory I THE COLD WAR

Filed under: Americas, Britain, History, Military — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 1 Jul 2015

The Falklands War was based on an old colonial struggle between two former world powers. When the military Junta in Argentina decided to claim the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic they didn’t reckon with Great Britain’s Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher. The British Prime Minister unleashed full scale invasion. The Royal Navy and the British Army landed and ultimately took the capital Port Stanley. The Argentine Army surrendered shortly after that.

August 8, 2017

Mingles with Jingles Episode 209 – British Battleships in World of Warships

Filed under: Britain, Gaming — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 04:00

Published on 7 Aug 2017

In which I get all excited about incoming British battleships in World of Warships, and then I see the provisional stats of the higher tier ones and read what it is that makes them “special” and start to get a little worried. I’ve stockpiled hundreds of thousands of free xp for these thing, please don’t let them be shit!

Actually you may be able to help me with that. And then I speculate on what happens when a game starts running out of things it can do to make new units different…

Tank Chats #15 Tortoise

Filed under: Britain, History, Military, Technology — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 02:00

Published on 25 Feb 2016

Tank Museum Historian, David Fletcher is currently unavailable, so rather than make you all wait, Curator David Willey is here to present Tortoise!

The A39 Tortoise is the ultimate manifestation of the British concept of the heavily armoured, but slow, ‘Infantry’ tank.

It was built in 1947, making it a contemporary of the highly successful Centurion tank. The Tortoise proved to be too slow and unwieldy for the conditions of modern warfare and was a nightmare to transport.

The only service that the Tortoise had was when two tanks took part in trials in Germany in 1948. The Tank Museum’s Tortoise is now the only surviving example.

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