Friday, January 09, 2009

Not that I'm competitive

You may have noticed a little black and red box appear to the right of this page. A kindly soul by the name of Tony Blews has set up a ranking site for UK waterways websites. Some fellow bloggers were already subscribing to the US based Top 100 boating sites, but I never got round to that - didn't fancy the flashing orange ... thing ... anyway. But when Andrew pleaded a while back for someone to develop a UK based one, I said that if they did, I'd subscribe. So last night I signed up. At that point I was sixth in a chart of six, but the next time I looked had risen to a heady fourth out of eleven. That may of course be the highest position I ever attain, having slipped back this morning to seven.

It is very interesting though, as for the first time now I actually have a way of seeing the number of visits the blog is getting. It would be great if every one of the blogs on Granny's boatroll signed up, and we would have our own top hundred. (Although actually I can't see what's to stop anyone signing them all up anyway...)

I shall follow my progress with interest. Or probably, in fact, obsessiveness.

Interesting if potentially unreliable fact (check? What, and spoil all the fun?). Aeroplane Black Boxes are actually bright orange and are named after a Professor Black who invented them.


Halfie said...

Urban myth I would think. It's referred to as a "black box" because its insides are hidden. It's a bright colour to aid its recovery after a crash. This website gives details of how they are tested:

Black boxes are shot from cannons, stabbed by thin steel rods, attached to 500 lb weights and dropped from 10 ft above the ground, crushed in a vice at 5,000 lb of pressure, cooked with a blow torch for an hour at 1,100°C, and submerged under the equivalent of 20,000 ft of seawater for one month.

S said...

That sounds like a funny reason though, don't you think? Who did invent it then?

Halfie said...

According to the same website a Professor James J. Ryan joined the mechanical division of General Mills (who?) in 1951 and invented his "VGA Flight Recorder" (velocity, G-force, altitude) in a compartmentalised form still used today (the compartment idea, that is!)

Flight recorders have, apparently, been used from the beginning: the Wright brothers carried one, measuring flight duration, speed and engine revs. Prof. Ryan improved General Electrics's "Selsyns" system developed in the 1940s.

There - you really wanted to know that, didn't you?