Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I did not know that...

While Wikipedia is rightly derided for the lack of objectivity caused by the easy editing of articles on contentious issues by any random idiot, its true worth is often overlooked: No other place on the internets is a better source of one-stop-shopping for the straight skinny on really obscure stuff.

For example, somebody was passionate enough about tag-team bell ringing to write an article on a topic I didn't even know existed...

19 comments:

Sport Pilot said...

Its a very useful research tool for finding initial background information. What's more it saved me hour's of research time by steering me to usable data at work as well as in a degree completion program. Getting that B.S. after way to many year's of being in and out of college was great. Even better was making all "A's" after having been a terrible student in the past.

Andy said...

One think about wikipedia, you can usually hit the reference links to decide yourself on the usefulness of the information.

And, Wiki-surfing can be quite the time-suck.

TheAxe said...

Check out The Nine Taylors by Dorothy Sayers, it's a mystery novel based on change ringing.

Bob said...

I didn't know of it myself until I read my first Dorothy Sayers mystery, The Nine Tailors, which is mentioned in the article. It's a great introduction to the art, and a nice mystery novel, to boot.

Anonymous said...

What's next? Change NOSE PICKING?
and a novel...?
(obviously, everyone has too much idle time-including me for responding)

MCSA56 said...

Speaking of help, I've got an issue of my own:

Does anyone have a very clear, easy way to explain SA, DA/SA, DAO to beginners?

If you've got a clear way to explain, or have heard a very clear explanation, please post it in the comments...

pax said...

From which I conclude that you're not a Dorothy Sayers fan, and haven't read all of the Lord Peter Wimsey novels. Get to it!

Matt G said...

That's some high-intensity acoustic geekery, there.
Makes me think of the greatness of the Church Bell Skit. "Just wot I wanted!"

Nathan said...

Change ringing is integral to the plot in Connie Willis' Doomsday Book.

John said...

MCSA56:
Single action only (SAO) releases the hammer when the trigger is pulled. If the hammer is not cocked, a single action gun should not fire when the trigger is pulled. Examples: M1911 and most related pistols, FN/Browning Hi-Power.

Double action draws the hammer back and then releases it when the trigger is pulled. When the slide travels forward (i.e. returns to battery) on a DAO semi-auto, the hammer will also be returned forward, it will not stay cocked. Examples: Browning BDM could be fired this way, and I think maybe some SIGs can be had with this action. Doesn't seem common in autoloaders.

A double action/single action gun will function like a double action only gun, except that the hammer will remain cocked when the slide is in battery after firing. With the hammer cocked, it can be fired as though it were single action. Examples: SIG P228, CZ-75.

Most semi-automatic pistols are either DA/SA (or SA/DA, same thing) or single-action-only (SAO), or striker-fired, which is really none of the above.

A striker-fired gun behaves most similarly to a single-action gun. The slide is cycled to load the chamber and pre-load the striker, then the trigger is pulled to release the striker and fire the gun. Unless I'm mistaken, most such guns will require that you cycle the slide to reset the striker and sear if the bullet doesn't fire from, e. g., a light strike on the primer.

jimbob86 said...

It may be helpful in explaining SA vs. DA by starting with the first examples of both : revolvers..... then move on to autos.

Tam said...

John,

"A striker-fired gun behaves most similarly to a single-action gun."

Not really.

An XD is a striker-fired gun that is a true Single Action: The mechanism is cocked by the slide and the trigger performs the single action of firing the gun.

The Millennium is a striker-fired gun that is a DAO: The trigger performs the double actions of cocking the striker and firing the gun on each shot.

The original P-99 is a striker-fired gun that is a true DA/SA: The mechanism can be decocked so that it is cocked with the trigger pull on the first shot and by the slide on subsequent rounds.

The Glock is one that is hard to describe, in that the slide only partially cocks the striker and the trigger pull completes the the cocking motion and fires the gun.

Assrot said...

Don't ya'll know that's what Obama is doing? Or was change ringing what he did before the election?

He sure as hell hasn't done anything since. I hear a lot of change rining in my ears but I don't see any change happening for the better in the USA.

He must have the wrong set of balls... I mean bells...

Joe

George said...

According to family history ... suspect mythology is more accurate, my greats on my father's side emigrated to England from Ireland. They made a living as bell ringers whilst making their way to Scotland.

Whether we have too much time on our hands, or not, it is cool stuff even for non-math types like me.

Regards.

Ritchie said...

Among the obscure stuff, the suite of articles on nuclear weapon design is quite extensive. It occurs to me, however, that much like sand paintings, the outside observer has no good way to know where the deliberate errors are placed.

Stretch said...

One of the best things about living in the Washington, DC area is you can hear change ringing three times a week. Sometimes more often.
http://www.cathedral.org/wrs/

John said...

Thanks for the correction/education, Tam!

Ian Argent said...

Second the recommendation for the Lord Peter works (Nine Tailors). I would actually recommend starting with "Murder Must Advertise" despite it being set bang in the middle of the continuity due to it being extremely self-contained (though it does include one spoiler for some minro characters).

Christie time mysteries, very good.

Brad K. said...

Celebrated young adult author Robin McKinley married a Brit, moved to Merrie Olde England, and got involved in change ringing. She wrotes/writes about it on her personal blog, as part of her daily routine.

Apparently each bell has a different voice, each is balanced to swing a complete circle, and the rope is used to control the timing. It seems to be very much a group affair - each person's mistake is quite noticeable in the ring. Change ringing seems to be a formal and respected pursuit, being accepted and active in various venues is accounted among one's personal accomplishments.