Communion Of Dreams


Stereotomy*

For those who don’t know, one of my other interests is handgun ballistics research. Specifically, in regards to how barrel length effects bullet velocity for different cartridges and loadings. Even if you don’t like guns, the physics behind ballistic performance can be very interesting.

And here’s a wonderfully graphic image showing those physical forces:

Ruger Alaskan .44 Magnum

Text from the source to go with this image (site is Finnish, and English is not the author’s first language):

Let’s talk a bit about .44 Magnum cartridge. Despite of being very close to diameter of .45ACP the .44Mag is totally different beast. Average .45ACP round generates ~650J of hit energy while .44Mag makes easily 1600J and can be pushed much more beyond that. This specific gun however cannot utilize all potential of .44 Magnum cartridge because of very short barrel. It simply cannot burn all powder. As you can see there is huge cone shaped spray of unburnt stuff flying in the air. With longer barrel show would be different.

Ok, you may have noticed the flames. They are something we haven’t seen before. Especially when you look picture below and huge left side flame in it. Interesting thing is that major amount of the flame is escaping between cylinder and barrel. That short barrel seems to puff bullet our so fast that powder mass just flies out unignited.

The site is filled with a bunch of great high-speed camera images of guns being fired. And it also has something else which is new to me: ‘natural stereoscopic’ images of guns being fired. Like this one:

Now, what do I mean ‘natural stereoscopic’ images? Well, this is pretty cool itself. Here’s a reference link & explanation from the Kuulapaa site:

Help: How to Free-View the Stereo Pairs

Each stereo view consists of two images, one for each eye. Free viewing is the technique that will allow you to direct each of these images separately and simultaneously into each eye. Once that happens, you are said to have “fused” the pair of images into a stereo view.

At the bottom of this page a stereo pair of images is loading with which you can practice. All the stereo pairs shown on this site are in the “cross-eyed” format (my apologies to all the “wall-eyed” people). That means that the first (leftmost) image is for your right eye and the right image is for your left eye.

There are then a series of practice image to show what he means and give you a chance to develop this viewing skill. It works fairly well for me, but does tire my eye muscles fairly quickly. Give it a try and see how you do.

Jim Downey

*Couldn’t resist. Lyrics here.

Cross posted to the BBTI blog.



Deuces are wild.

* * * * * * *

I liked “The Day After Tomorrow.”

No, not the movie. Gah.

Rather, I’m talking about the initial name for the Heinlein novel we now know as Sixth Column. I always figured that the trick of inventing a religion (one of the major plot devices of the book) gave L. Ron Hubbard inspiration. It’s not one of Heinlein’s best works — hardly — and you have to understand the blatant racism in the context of when it was written. But it’s decent pulp science fiction.

* * * * * * *

RAWHIDE:
	Look, uh... we've got the overthruster, 
        but somebody shanghaied the Professor 
        right from the press conference.

BUCKAROO BANZAI:
	Ohhh... the deuce you say.

Gotta love Buckaroo. Text from here.

* * * * * * *

And they think it will make their lives easier
For God knows up till now it’s been hard
But the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card
No the game never ends when your whole world depends
On the turn of a friendly card

Two days remaining. It ends the day after tomorrow. $7,781 to go. Bluff, or fold?

Jim Downey

PS: Oh, yeah, the Kindle Edition of Communion of Dreams will be free all day on the final day of the Kickstarter. Let everyone know. Thanks.



“There is always hope. Only because that is the one thing no one has figured out how to kill. Yet.”*

Ah, Spring.

Got my pepper plants last night, unboxed them and set them out in the sun this morning. Six each of Bhut Jolokia, Red Savina, and Naga Morich.

Yesterday was good in another way: had some 50 downloads of Communion of Dreams. That’s about 4x what daily sales of the novel have been this week. No idea why. I can’t find anything which would explain it – if you know, please clue me in. Today things seem to still be running a little ahead of what passes for normal, but not as busy as yesterday.

And lastly, someone “followed” me on Twitter. OK, that isn’t too weird – while I don’t do a lot with Twitter, it is a promotional platform I use and part of that is following people and being followed in return. But this came out of the blue, before I had followed this person or had any contact with them. Who was it? Alan Parsons.

Actually, further digging indicated that it was the account for the Alan Parsons Project. I’m not sure who administers the account. It might be Mr. Parson, or it might just be some flunky.

Now, I have referenced music from the Alan Parsons Project here a couple of times. I’ve always had a lot of respect for their stuff, as well as Parson’s work as a sound engineer in his own right. But what I haven’t mentioned previously is that instrumental tracks from the Alan Parsons Project pretty much were the ‘soundtrack’ behind writing Communion of Dreams. As in, almost without exception, that is the music I put on when I was writing. It was energizing without being distracting, and helped me get into the proper mental zone to work on the book – a kind of induced syneshtesia.

So it was more than a little weird to have APP follow me on Twitter, regardless of who handles the site. No idea why.

Which leaves me with a lot of more-or-less happy confusion, and hope for the future.

Jim Downey

*Galen, of course. Whom I have mentioned previously.