Friday, July 22, 2022

Black Mirror Meets Dr Who at the New Theater Sydney

Control by Keziah Warner at the New Theatre Sydney, has a Black Mirror sensibility, with Dr Who 60's set design. This is a dystopian future where Big Brother is always watching, memories can be edited, and the robots have more emotion than the people. The cast all do a fine job of switching characters from empty headed social media influencer, to more sympathetic robot. The set looks suitably sci-fi and bleak. 

Some seems of a far distant future, and some looks like my day job. Earlier today I was discussing the benefits of Augmented versus Virtual Reality for teaching English to Japanese students, with researchers around the world, on Zoom, of course. Also, yes, in the office there is a robot.

You can purchase a copy of Control, or catch it at the New Theatre, until 30 July, or wait for it to come true. 

ps: For an immersive sc-fi conspiracy theory experience, join International Strategic Deepspace Command (ISDC), hidden behind the Milesham Organisation, on Paramatta Road, Sydney. ;-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Direct Train to Train Grain Transfer for Break of Gauge at Ukraine Boarder?

Media reports indicate that the transfer of bulk grain by train from the Ukraine is hampered by the break of gauge at the boarder of the EU. Ukraine uses the broad Russian gauge, while Europe uses the narrower standard gauge. So grain has to be transferred from train, to storage and back to another train. But could grain be transferred directly from train to another, under gravity, in a few minutes? To do this an elevated track would be built with Ukrainian gauge. There would be fixed chutes to direct grain down between the tracks to a standard gauge train underneath. The elevated track could be constructed in a few days using a combination of timber, steel, concrete, and earth embankments. No moving parts would be required, or complex control mechanisms. Of course there would be limitations, with compatible trains in place at the same time.