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back to article Reg hack cops a licking from the bosun's cat

Reg readers are wonderful. Here's a mail exchange with a reader picking us up on our use of the expression "Casts anchor" in a supercomputer article. Phil the Reg reader: 'Casts' anchor? Could provide a reference for that expression, please? Moi: It's mundane I fear Philip. Since the supercomputer was described as a ship, and …

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As an apt topic...

" though scurvy landlubbers plainly still do"

Wasn't it seamen that suffered from scurvy due to a lack of vitamin C? Some bloke introduced limes because he discovered it prevented scurvy (not knowing it was the vitamin C in it) hence why the yanks call us Limeys, because during the golden age of sailing we had teeth and they didn't?

Merry Christmas :)

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Lemon was the original fruit (juice) used to prevent scurvy, but limes were easier to obtain (I believe they mostly came from our Caribbean possessions), so we tended to use those instead, hence us brits being called limeys and not anyone else (as they sucked lemons!)

Merry Christmas! :)

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How ironic that tanks now refer to "English teeth" in a derogatory sense.

Merry Christmas.

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Coat

Continuing the theme

Surely that should be "on the same topic", "continuing the theme" or somesuch phrase rather than "as an apt topic" which comes very close to (but crucially does not actually) mean what you intended it to, given that the topic itself has not changed?

Mine's the one with the well-thumbed, all-weather copy of Fowler's.

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It should be, but it's not because the topic is anchors and whether or not anchors weigh anything, or maybe I mis-read the entire article but I'm sure it was to do with Anchorage, or cats, or using cats as anchors, would that even work?

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s/tanks/yanks/

So much for "smart" phones.

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Boffin

Scurvy

yes, originally lemons; limes are a very poor substitute.

http://idlewords.com/2010/03/scott_and_scurvy.htm

"Except for the nature of vitamin C, eighteenth century physicians knew this too. But in the second half of the nineteenth century, the cure for scurvy was lost. The story of how this happened is a striking demonstration of the problem of induction, and how progress in one field of study can lead to unintended steps backward in another. "

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so much for 'smart' people

From naval slang to rhyming slang might be a bit too much of a jump for some!

Anyway - there is CANOE - the Campaign to Attribute Nautical Origins to Everything...

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@Gerry Doyle 1

Note that the correction was made by the original poster ... and that the actual slang word in use is "septic", not "tank". Perhaps your Subject^WTitle is more apt than you might think. Might want to use your loaf & read for comprehension ;-)

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Limeys

From 1795 -1840, the British Admiralty used Lemon juice, then drifted over to using Lime juice: From 1860 the admiralty contracted for supply with juice from limes from the West Indies rather than lemons from Europe. The lime juice (and the method of preparation) was less effective, and scurvy returned to the British Navy until abolished by shorter steam-powered trips. Scurvy remained a problem on long trips until it was better understood around 1920.

There seems to have been two reasons for the switch from Lemons to Limes (1) There was not a clear distinction between Lemons and Limes. (2) There was no a clear understanding of the different antiscorbutic properties of different Lemon/Lime juices. Lacking scientific understanding, the 1860 contract was a political decision.

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FAIL

>So much for "smart" phones

The problem with smart phone spelling I've found lies with Android. It defaults to its suggestion rather than what you typed. My Nokia did the reverse. It offered corrections but what you'd typed was the default.

So the problem it seems to me is that Android thinks it's smarter than the operator.

Fail because technology hasn't yet reached the point where it is consistently (or even partially) more intelligent than me.

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Also all the lemons were in the hands of Napoleon, I heard on "QI".

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Doh!

Hoisted by my own petard, guilty as charged. Sorry stu!

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FAIL

Ahem

"The problem with smart phone spelling I've found lies with Android."

http://damnyouautocorrect.com would beg to disagree.

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Pint

@Gerry Doyle 1

That's "hoist by your own petard". Pet peeve. Look it up.

Or "hoise by", if you're being archaic & petulant, just to remain on topic ;-)

Let's split the remaining beer and call it all good. Happy Solstice season :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Lacking scientific understanding, the 1860 contract was a political decision

150-odd years later, it's good to see HM Government sticking to the traditional procurement process.

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Probably not actually ironic

@jake - Had I been quoting from Hamlet you might have been right, but I wasn't. By the same token, if that's what you are referencing, then you might need to look it up yourself.

Mine's a pint of water with a dash of blackcurrant, thanks.

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Pirate

Chile ?

Perhaps it's Chile, whose Navy still sails the Esmeralda.

Via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esmeralda_%28BE-43%29

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Tall ships rule...

...Proper sailing that is :) And no, I'm not just talking semantics so don't get started.

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Anonymous Coward

So that's cleared up then

ex-mariners really are the most pedantic people on Earth

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Anonymous Coward

Ex-mariner

Anyone checked with Mr Page? Surely he would have personal experience of dropping or casting anchors during his time in the Senior Service?

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Anonymous Coward

Re:Ex-mariner

Or searching for the golden rivet.

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At first I thought "cast" was apt...

but now I'm not sure. I defn know "weigh anchor", would assume "cast anchor" would be to drop it, in general use.

Tsk. Pedants.

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Hmmm

"warmer than a jan dockie's starboard oggie pocket"

Trying to find the derivation of this there are three Google references. This article and an earlier El Reg one in two versions.

Is this jackspeak only in the confines of Mr. Page's head?

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I'm assuming he means Janner, not Jan dockie, in which case it makes perfect sense.

A Janner is from Plymouth and an Oggie is a pasty, the rest I leave as an exercise for the reader.

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RCL

The expression is indeed; 'Jan dockie'. A Dockie is a dockyard worker. A Plymouth dockyard worker is a Jan dockie.

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New Keyboard please...

Just laughed Bread sauce over my keyboard, I do believe in that sort of circumstance the Reg owes me a new one.

Happy Christmas everyone!

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IT Angle

Sooo...

There isnt much of an IT angle here, but if the Navy and Marines get an article about their slang, then those of us of the Military land lubber variety need one too. We have alot of weird IT related words, like directly IT (and also to a lesser extent Technical Intelligence) related.

Id be happy to write it, because I used to be a Soldier like them, before I took an arrow in the knee.

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IT Angle

Might I suggest

Stan Kelly-Bootle's The Devil's DP Dictionary and its 2nd ed, The Computer Contradictionary

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I wonder

I have to wonder what my good mate Popeye would make of all this bilge... :-)

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Joke

Popeye singing the Sex Pistols song "friggin in the riggin" would be the response I'd imagine from all this, but given he looks like he went downhill and started shooting up causing his arm to swell up leading him to have a stroke, does make it somewhat hard to be sure what he's saying about anything regarding this Sciencemass anchour article.

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Pirate

swinging on the anchor

We were anchored off of San Clemente once, to dodge a bit of weather. As the sea bed fell off rapidly, and our boat's anchor chain is of limited length, we were anchored rather close to the rocky shoreline. (Our boat was a 80-foot tuna fishing vessel converted to a trawler).

As the most junior member on board (by far), I got the mid watch (midnight to 4 am). San Clemente is famous for its squid population, so we did not run any lights. The squid are attracted by light, and can swarm up around the boat, to block its bilge pump outlets. If that happens, the boat takes on water and cannot pump it back out. Not a good thing.

My main job was to try to make out the line of surf and make sure that the boat does not end up on the rocks as the turning tide and currents swing the boat around the anchor. It was not easy to see the surf, as it was a cloudy night with no moon.

Fortunately, a little bit of geometry, regarding the length of the anchor chain, and the likely depth of where the anchor lay, convinced me that we would never come close enough to the shore to present a hazard. That is, unless we dragged the anchor, that would be very bad indeed.

Fortunate for me, the watch passed uneventfully. (Unlike several other occasions that this very junior member of the crew thoroughly embarrassed himself).

Happy Holidays!

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Joke

In further news

A anti whaling boat named the Steve Erwin has used a `milatary like`(technical term for a remote AV with a camera and no armements) drone to locate a japanese whaling boat. The name of the japanese whaling boat is currently unknown though the hope is that the boat that fires sharp pointing things is not called stingray.

Now back to the turkey.

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Websters?

There's your mistake right there! As a .co.uk site I think we have the right to insist on the Oxford English.

... bloody colonials

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Boffin

To add to the confusion...

In teaching small-craft safety classes for new sailors and power boaters, we DO note that for small craft (a small craft is any vessel whose LOA is less than 20 meters/65 feet) it IS actually the flukes that do the holding. The anchor chain, which is usually under 3 meters/10 feet in length, exists to assist the anchor flukes to dig in to the bottom through its weight The rest of the rode is usually Dacron line of a suitable diameter for the weight of the boat. The most popular anchor type for small craft is of the Danforth type which relies solely on its flukes to hold the vessel. We do *strongly* recommend the scope (ratio of rode length to water depth) never be less than 5:1, is normally 7:1 and should be 10:1 in heavier weather. Small craft should never be out in heavy weather in any event!

As far as "station" goes, a small-craft station is a circle whose radius is the rode length and the vessel will assume any orientation along the circumference of that circle depending on wind direction and current direction.

Few, if any, of these considerations apply to ships (vessels > 20meters LOA) although many define a "ship" as a vessel greater than 30 meters/100 feet in length/

Bill Meahan - Boating Safety Instructor, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Boffin

Ships and boats

I was wondering if someone was going to make a distinction between ships and boats. I was thinking the anchor pictured would be a boat anchor or for a very small ship. One off from a trwler then?

It looks about 6 feet long and I'm guessing weighs half a ton or just under.

If it was cast once it must have also been wrought. It would never have been cast from a boat as it is too heavy for two men to handle safely and not from a ship as it would be hanging off the sharp end, out of reach to most.

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Anonymous Coward

Must do things different over there

I've never seen a Danforth or anchor rope on anything over about 22 ft - it's always a CQR / Plough anchor and a locker full of chain from what I've seen in UK/Europe/Oz. Good thing too, at least until your winch packs up when you're anchored in 18m.

Arrrr.

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Boffin

OOPS!

Should never post a comment while full of the Christmas Spirit(s) :-)

Anchor lines usually are made of braided NYLON, not Dacron. Nylon is somewhat elastic and the elasticity serves as a shock absorber as waves hit the bow.

The station radius is shorter than the rode length. Actually, the radius of the station begins at an imaginary point directly above the anchor and the rode forms the hypotenuse of a right triangle one of whose sides is the water depth and the other side is the "real" station radius.

if S is the station radius, R is the rode length and D is the water depth, S = sqrt( R ** 2 - D ** 2)

If being a pedant, better to be an accurate pedant. :-)

One more point about small-craft anchoring: the primary anchor is ALWAYS attached to the bow, NEVER to the stern! If attached to the stern, the vessel is in genuine danger of being pooped. That is, larger waves will come in over the transom and swamp the boat. A couple of (American-style) football players were drowned a couple of years back when they anchored from the stern of the boat they were fishing from, a wind came up and the boat was pooped and swamped. The boat was too small to be that far out, anyway, but if the anchor had been attached to the bow, the boat would have simply rode over the incoming waves.

Bill Meahan - Boating Safety Instructor, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

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Boffin

That is _still_ an approximation - the anchor chain will never usually form a straight line.

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Have none of all y'all ...

... ever gone fishing? I cast a line this morning to catch part of Christmas Dinner. Likewise, one of the horses cast a shoe the other day ...

Happy Solstice[1] from Sunny Sonoma, California :-)

[1] No, I'm not Pagan (or any other religion), I just celebrate the fact that the days are getting longer now.

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Correctio (I think)

The nights are getting shorter and the days will be getting longer soon. (I think that's right.)

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@I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

Winter solstice was on the 22nd of this month, at 05:30 UTC. Winter is here, and Spring is on the way. If you're in Oz, your mileage may vary :-)

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Re : @I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects → #

You are both sort of correct.

Winter solstice was indeed 22 nd Dec when the day length was shortest.

However sunset and sunrise move in phase but with a lead/lag so sunset here is getting later and has been since ~Dec 14th but sunrise is still around its latest and it'll be early January before it becomes earlier.

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Coat

Cast anchor

Must be a fairly common expression. In Swedish the term is "kasta ankare" also "förankra" which would be to anchor. I bet the cast anchor is used in many languages.

No body would rely only on the weight of the chain. The longer the chain/rope the less strain is put on the anchor and that is not only because of the weight but because of the angle of the tension.

Happy New Year

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Ignorance no excuse

You're quite wrong, shipmate. For ships, it IS the weight of the anchor cable. With many sea bottoms, there is only silt and thus the fluke will have little to grip. You should seek the advice of those who know before issuing definitive statements. "I would have thought" is acceptable, but not "Nobody would .... "

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Anonymous Coward

Boat Anchor

Is what we used to call a recently retired supercomputer... or even a brand new IBM-architecture super.

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Holmes

When they appear on the MetO North Atlantic SSP charts (produced by the supercomputer that they have now got running, I am led to believe) boat anchors forecast volcanic activity.

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