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Samuel Leech, R.N., fought in the battle between the 38 gun HMS Macedonian, commanded by Captain John Surman Carden, and the 44 gun USS United States, Commodore Stephen Decatur on October 25th 1812.
A strange noise, such as I had never heard before, next arrested my attention; it sounded like the tearing of sails, just over our heads. This I soon ascertained to be the wind of the enemy's shot. The firing, after a few minutes' cessation, recommenced. The roaring of cannon could now be heard from all parts of our trembling ship, and, mingling as it did with that of our foes, it made a most hideous noise. By-and-by I heard the shot strike the sides of our ship; the whole scene grew indescribably confused and horrible; it was like some awfully tremendous thunder-storm, whose deafening roar is attended by incessant streaks of lightning, carrying death in every flash and strewing the ground with the victims of its wrath: only, in our case, the scene was rendered more horrible than that, by the presence of torrents of blood which dyed our decks.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jun 24, 2013 -
Last year, Yang Youde learned that his land had been requisitioned. Since the compensation terms for breaking the contract had not been settled, he has refused to move out. "The evictors said many times that they will move on me." Earlier this year, Yang took measures to protect himself. He took a hand-truck and removed the front. Then he put in a set of rockets for use as an artillery battery.
posted by Artw
on Jun 8, 2010 -
Vortex Cannon : SLYT
"Jem Stansfield builds a vortex cannon to pick up where the big bad wolf failed to blow over a house of brick."
More details at the BBC
posted by bwg
on Aug 2, 2009 -
Pickering and the Female Computers.
In 1881, Edward Pickering
, the director of the Harvard College Observatory, became so impatient with a male lab assistant’s work that he famously declared his maid could do a better job. Rather than take offense, his 24-year-old maid, Williamina Fleming
, instead took him up on the offer. She ended up working at the Observatory for the next 30 years, supervising the tedious work of cataloging photographic plates, but also discovering variable stars and novae, helping to develop a classification system—and, perhaps even more importantly
, hiring nearly 40 female assistants
, many of whom went on to have distinguished scientific careers
. [more inside]
posted by mothershock
on Sep 20, 2008 -
This weekend in Millsboro, Delaware is the 16th annual Punkin Chunkin World Championships
, in which pumpkins are propelled distances approaching a mile from old-style catapults and huge air cannons. Anyone else going?
posted by donkeymon
on Nov 3, 2001 -
Sure, spud guns have been done, but sometimes we need reminders of the awesome power
of a flying tuber. I prefer this design, as it is powered by compressed air, whereas a buddy of mine just finished a device he calls "The Judge" powered by Acetylene and O2.
posted by plinth
on Jun 15, 2000 -