Search my Blogs and my website

Monday, 9 February 2015

When 2 + 2 = 5

  I was working on ‘Winter Road’….

   …a while ago. it reminded me of those strange stories about human nature....

  All aeroplanes have an AirSpeed Indicator (ASI), most of them look like the one below.

  Every now and then, a student would sit in my aircraft for the first time, spot the words ‘Winter’ written across it and say something along the lines of, “Oh, do you fit a different one for Summer?” or, “Is that calibrated differently to a Summer one?”

  A very switched on thing to notice - ASI’s work on dynamic pressure and are affected greatly by changes in air density (altitude, humidity, temperature etc), so you can see how the student’s brain was working.

  However, ‘Winter’ on the ASI refers to ‘Winter Gmbh’, an Austrian company that makes them!  Always amused me but got to give some credit – at least they were thinking about what was going on.

  I remember doing a similar thing as a small boy after doing the thunder and lightning thing with my dad.
  “After the flash, start counting,” he said. “The sound takes five seconds longer to get here for every mile away the storm is….”
  Great fun but it sent me wondering….

  So, how did they synchronise the sound and pictures on the telly? We were quite lucky as the transmitter on top of Bardon Hill was just a mile or so away but what about people who lived further away? Ah, there must be some sort of gadget built into the telly to delay the pictures, must be a knob the man from Rumbelows adjusts to match up the sound and pictures when he delivers it.….

  The technical fudge to achieve this got quite complicated in my mind but I was fairly happy with it… until I found out that the sound is actually magically encoded in the radio waves and goes at the same speed as the pictures. Doh!

  “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
  Or something like that!

No comments:

Post a Comment