Wikipedia: Strategic steam reserve

A Strategic steam reserve (SSR) is a collection of withdrawn steam locomotives which is kept in working order for possible use in a national emergency. During the Cold War several countries, including Sweden and the Soviet Union, kept SSRs and the United Kingdom is reported to have done so, albeit without hard evidence.

Many European railways have a large mileage which is electrified. In the event of a war, or major natural disaster, electricity supplies could be disrupted and electric locomotives would be unworkable. Diesel locomotives could also be at risk for two reasons:

– supplies of imported oil might be cut off,
– solid state components in diesel locomotives might be destroyed by the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a nuclear weapon.

The alleged British ‘Strategic Reserve’ is a potent and frequently recurring urban myth amongst railway enthusiasts. Following the complete withdrawal of mainline steam traction in 1968, the myth persisted for decades that a reserve of locomotives had been retained for such a strategic purpose. As no official reserve existed, nor was any reserve obviously visible, this encouraged many fanciful explanations for where the reserve might be hidden, usually in some tunnel or mine. One theory even claimed that the growing steam preservation movement was itself the Strategic Reserve.


Ghost Surface

Anime Gems is on season break and will return shortly! In the meantime, here’s a not-quite-a-review of Ghost in the Shell:ARISE.

Ghost in the Shell is one of the most successful classic anime franchises with two cinematic movies, one movie length OVA, an original two season TV series and, most recently, the new ARISE prequel series. The original ARISE started airing in 2013, one hour per episode, and a six month release interval for a total of four episodes. As of this spring season, the episodes are being aired as alternate TV format cuts with two 20 minute parts per original episode. A new cinematic movie is to be released this summer.
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Binary file download in C# .Net with speed limiter

Downloading files over HTTP is easy in C#/.Net – in fact, it’s as easy as writing a single line of code:

new WebClient().DownloadFile("http://your.url", "saveAs_Filename.jpg");

However, there’s no .Net library function that allows you to limit the download speed. Here’s how you can write your own.

What you’ll need is at its core a simple TCP client. It will connect to a HTTP server, send a GET command, then receive the reply packets from the server until the server stops sending. This allows us to add speed measurement and speed limiting.
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Female Chimps Seen Making, Wielding Spears

The chimps spent time making the deadliest, most effective spears. Spear in hand, the chimps would sneak up on bushbabies — small, big-eyed primates — and stab them to death. Bushbabies, which are nocturnal and are also called “galagos,” spend much of their days snoozing in tree cavities. They can become an easy filling meal for a spear-wielding chimp.

The Fongoli chimps are the only known non-human primates that systematically hunt large prey with weapons, so the site itself is of interest to the researchers. It is a savanna with a dry season that lasts over seven months. Early humans might have faced comparable conditions that led to greater reliance on meat consumption and efficient hunting methods.


Discovery News: Female Chimps Seen Making, Wielding Spears