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What Next?

Mike Spick gazes into his crystal ball to look at the RAF’s next quarter of a century.

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE celebrated its 75th anniversary on April 1. The past 25 years have been packed with incident — what will the next 25 years hold? Crystal gazing is a perilous occupation at the best of times. All we can state with any certainty is that mankind has a propensity for armed conflict, and that the lessons of the past can often, but not always, be applied to the future. In many ways, the early 1920s were similar to the present

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What makes a publishing house great? The easy answer is the consistency with which it produces books of value over a lengthy period of time. That would include in our day, beyond the obvious candidates, houses as unalike as Oxford University Press and New Directions. But thereʼs also the energy and flair with which it brings its books to the attention of the general reading public, so doing justice to its authors. And theres its loyalty to those authors. And its over-all conviction that books matter. And, of course, turning a profit.

A new book «Hothouse» (Simon & Schuster), by Boris Kachka takes as a given that its subject, Farrar, Straus&Giroux, has been and remains a great publisher, and without any question that’s the case. FSG, as it’s generally called, has brought us more than half a century of distinguished books, rarely slipping below the level of distinction it hoped to achieve. How it did so is certainly worth both parsing and paying tribute to, but a degree of disillusionment with this project sets in when we get past the cute title to the even cuter and more hyperbolic subtitle: «The Art

Continue reading What makes a publishing house great? The easy answer is the consistency with which it produces books of value over a lengthy period of time. That would include in our day, beyond the obvious candidates, houses as unalike as Oxford University Press and New Directions. But thereʼs also the energy and flair with which it brings its books to the attention of the general reading public, so doing justice to its authors. And theres its loyalty to those authors. And its over-all conviction that books matter. And, of course, turning a profit.

We Want Eight and

Paul Brown describes how the Royal Navy’s Dreadnoughts revolutionised battleship design in the early years of the 20th century, and outlines the role they played in the build-up to World War I.

In 1904 Britain’s naval supremacy was unquestionable — the fleet was at least as big as the next two largest fleets put together (due to a policy known as the two-power standard). The possible foes were believed to be France, Russia and, increasingly, Germany. Warning against complacency, the Second Sea Lord, Admiral Sir John ‘Jackie’ Fisher, championed the building of a revolutionary new type of battleship, which would

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Wartime in the Vale

The summer hasn’t exactly been spectacular this year and late June set the tone for the rest of the year with heavy rain causing widespread disruption and even cancellations for many a show up and down the country. On this particular occasion I attended two shows that fell on the same weekend, firstly the Yorkshire Wartime Experience on the Saturday (show report coming soon) and the Wartime in the Vale show on the Sunday. As it turned out the Saturday would have been the better of the two days to attend Wartime in the Vale because heavy overnight rain saw

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Walking with heritage.

20 Heritage Walks is an assemblage of twenty booklets and eighteen maps which like an equiangular spiral covers myriad of places which are important in cultural, historical and architectural senses. While leaving no part of Delhi untouched, the authors and their team of experts of sketches, maps, line drawings and photography have maintained an immaculate balance between esoteric architectural debates and a proletarian understanding of landscapes and their history. There is dexterous relating of people with things that went into the making of structures and superstructures. It is well conveyed that evolution of architecture is not an adventitious upshot. There

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Victims of the Few

Sunday, 15 September 1940 saw the climax of the Battle of Britain when the Luftwaffe launched a massive series of attacks against London, flying over 1,000 sorties. Although the RAF claimed to have shot down 183 enemy aircraft, German losses numbered fifty-six bombers and fighters, albeit many enemy machines returned to Occupied Europe badly damaged. Chris Goss tells the story about two German bombers which only just made it back.

On Saturday, 14 September 1940, Gruppe I and Gruppe II of Kampfgeschwader 76 (KG 76) had a much needed day off from their assault upon the United Kingdom. This was

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USB Hard Drive Hootenanny

Hard drives you can actually smack down

LACiE RUGGED MiNi USB 3.0 1TB

The LaCie Rugged Mini we tested is a 1TB 5,400rpm drive that features a classic brushed-aluminum housing with USB 3.0 and LED activity indicators. The bright, removable rubber case makes this hard drive resistant to drops from four feet, which matches the Transcend StoreJet’s durability. Its two-year war­ranty is the shortest of the three drives in our roundup, though.

LaCie’s bundled software is bare- bones, and offers a power-saving utility and Genie Timeline backup software. Genie Timeline provides a simple inter­face with the option for a hierarchical

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TYPES OF SYNTHESIS

There are many types of synthesis beyond traditional subtractive techniques, and there are plenty of synths out there that offer a whole range in a single unit or software instrument. The most common types are additive synthesis, which builds sounds by adding waveforms together, and frequency modulation (FM), which uses one or more oscillators to modulate the tonal and amplitude characteristics of another oscillator. These types excel at brash, digital-sounding bells and metallic sounds, and are also capable of creating more complex waveforms than subtractive techniques alone.

Native Instruments’ FM8 is a prime example of a modern FM synth and

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Turkish retirements

THE T-33A FINALLY left the Turkish Air Force inventory on January 20, 1997, at Eskisehir (1st Main Jet Base) when the final two aircraft were retired. It ended almost 45 years of service which had seen the type fill both the jet training and liaison roles. When the first two T-33As (serialled 51-4058 and 51-4059) were received through the Military Assistance Program (MAP) on December 27, 1951, it marked the beginning of the Turkish Air Force’s (TuAF) jet age.

Further examples arrived from the USA, Canada and France during the intervening years and by 1983 the TuAF had received 100

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Tried and True

Many of today’s woodworkers, if faced with the job of cutting a miter without the aid of the trusty table saw could, no doubt, do the job by hand. After all. much of the preparatory work for any project still has to be done by hand. We have to measure with a tape or a rule, and we have to use try-squares and bevels to mark where the cuts must be made. Making the cut by hand is just a short step from bringing the work to the machine.

What happens after the cut has been made is another story.

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