Monday, May 20, 2024



Billion Dollar Yacht:

Herald Sun
Reprinted in
15 May 2924

The world’s first hydrogen-powered superyacht reportedly commissioned by Bill Gates is already up for sale with a whopping price tag of nearly $1 billion.

The 122m-long vessel was only officially launched on May 4th, but is already on the market for an astronomical sum, The Sun reports.

Boasting the ability to run on green hydrogen, it’s a boat like no other.

Project 821 is reported to be able to cruise between harbours or power its entire hotel load for up to a week without noise or carbon emissions.

Designed by RWD, the vessel has is purported to have “forever changed” the yachting world, according to Dutch shipbuilder Feadship, who launched the vessel at their Amsterdam shipyard last weekend.

The superyacht has been linked with Microsoft founder Gates but Feadship are not confirming the billionaire’s relationship with the yacht or why it is now up for sale.

Rumours, however, suggest it is being offered for around $981m (€600m).

The yacht features:
- five decks above the waterline, two below;
- a central circular staircase that forms the centrepiece of the vessel, and is a spectacle in itself;
- space for 14 guests and 31 crew;
- ability to travel at a speed of 17 knots;
- a VIP suite on the upper deck that is essentially an apartment;
- an owner’s pavilion with two bedrooms, dressing rooms, two bathrooms and an intimate private spa;
- a gym, a pantry, two offices each with a fireplace, and a living room on board;
- on the bridge deck - a coffee corner and games area,
- on the main deck – a library;
- on the lower deck - a private dining room with a sea terrace and adjacent ensuite stateroom.


“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. "

― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby


Iron Mystery

May 18, 2024

A pillar in the ruins of an ancient temple has been holding a closely guarded secret.

It is 1600 years old, is made of wrought iron and refuses to rust.

The origin of the remarkable Iron Pillar, part of the world-heritage-listed Qutub funerary complex in India’s Delhi, is lost to time. All sorts of reasons have been offered for the lack of rusting but the answer is human ingenuity.

The corrosion resistant Delhi iron pillar.

It stands about 7.3m tall and 41.6cm in diameter at its base, tapering to about 30.5cm with the ornamental structure at its top. It’s made of solid wrought iron weighing 6.5 tonnes. It has also been dragged across India several times over the centuries as loot from battles of conquest.

The inscription on the Iron Pillar’s dull-grey surface dedicating it to god Vishnu and naming a ruler called Chandra.

For those who are technically minded:

- India’s ancient metal smiths purified their ironwork to a remarkable 98 per cent. Exactly how they did so was a closely guarded secret, jealously protected by a few communities and handed down through generations of the same families.

- The metal smiths extracted the iron from iron ore using charcoal furnaces.

- The 1400C these generated was not hot enough to entirely melt the metal. Instead, it was extracted as a “soft spongy mass which was hammered to be shaped into the desired objects”.

- Lumps of this spongy iron were laid out and hammered repeatedly to separate the fluidic slag (mineral impurities) and formed into a sequence of “pancake” shapes.

- The heated iron pancakes were then placed one over another, and both were joined by hammering using hand-held hammers.

- The hammering did not remove the slag evenly. This left a patchwork of tiny, phosphorus-rich slag particles spaced among the iron. This creates a distributive network of anode-cathode electrical conductors and triggers a series of chemical reactions.

- The corrosion resistant property of the sample of Iron Pillar in Delhi was mainly due to the mode of its fabrication resulting in high slag inclusions dispersed in three dimensions around the metal.


Head above water:

May 7, 2024

The residents of Cholesbury in Buckinghamshire were alarmed when a crocodile’s head appeared in a puddle. Police were called.

Aftre investigating, the police found that the head had no body attached and that it was made of plastic. It turned out to be a life size children’s crocodile head toy,

The force put a post on social media describing the incident:
It’s not every day that you get sent to reports of a crocodile in flood water near Cholesbury. Do not be alarmed, the croc is now with us at the police station. Did you know that it is not that difficult to tell alligators and crocodiles apart? One will see you later whereas the other will see you in a while. 

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