Laos approves Mekong River dam; giant catfish disapproves – an annotated graphic

Laos – the long, skinny Asian country squashed between Vietnam to the right and Thailand to the left – has given the go-ahead for the construction of a massive dam on the Mekong River. Laos plans to harness the power of the river to generate electricity, which in turn it can sell to its neighbours. The problem is that those same neighbours are already unhappy about the potential disruption the dam might cause to their fishing and rice production. The Mekong snakes hundreds of miles all the way from China, through Laos, into Cambodia and out to the sea, with … Continue reading Laos approves Mekong River dam; giant catfish disapproves – an annotated graphic

South Korea’s multi-billion dollar warplane deal – an annotated graphic

As if China’s stealth fighter developments wasn’t enough Far East military action for one day, let’s give the South Koreans a hand as they roll out their $7.2 billion contract for 60 next-gen fighter jets. It’s all getting a bit tasty over on that side of the planet, eh? Someone, somewhere is getting immensely wealthy from all this national insecurity, but it’s not us, that’s for darn sure. Oh well! What happens to all the old-gen fighter jets, we wonder? Do they have a fire-sale out in the parking lots of Lockheed Martin, EAD, Boeing et al every time a … Continue reading South Korea’s multi-billion dollar warplane deal – an annotated graphic

Jimi Hendrix at 70 – a potted history annotated graphic

James Marshall Hendrix: E&T salutes you, on what should have been your 70th birthday. Where’s the engineering, the more churlish amongst us might say? Well, aside from the fact that sometimes it behoves us all to slough off the yoke of everyday expectation, equally sometimes we have to simply stand up and acknowledge the dazzling achievements of a solitary human being, in whatever sphere they chose to operate. His legacy is still reverberating today, even in areas only tangentially related to music. Film, fashion, art, audio technology and much more. Hats off to him for that. Time magazine said it … Continue reading Jimi Hendrix at 70 – a potted history annotated graphic

UK drone force in Afghanistan to be doubled – an annotated graphic

Is it us, or is naming a military drone capable of carrying and deploying up to 14 Hellfire missiles “the Reaper” a trifle insensitive? Come to think of it, calling your new favourite missile “Hellfire” hardly demonstrates subtlety in nomenclature. What happened to the days of pin-up girls and calling your vehicle for the deployment of weapons of mass destruction something oblique and borderline sweet like Enola Gay? At least OMD got a song out of that. Who wants to dance to Hellfire? Only The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, we suspect. Anyway, the UK is going to double the … Continue reading UK drone force in Afghanistan to be doubled – an annotated graphic

Mike Lynch and Autonomy – an exclusive interview… from 2002!

Rooting around in the back of the old E&T woodshed recently, we unearthed an exclusive interview with Mike Lynch of Autonomy that our previous title, IEE Review, conducted with the tech man of the moment back in 2002. Lynch was already filthy rich then, so a number of comments from that time leap out afresh in light of his latest contretemps with HP and its accusation that Lynch grossly overstated the value of his company, Autonomy, before selling it to them, HP. The fact that HP sacked Lynch in May of this year does rather suggest that the US parent … Continue reading Mike Lynch and Autonomy – an exclusive interview… from 2002!

Israel and Hamas ceasefire ends cyber warfare – an annotated graphic

With last night’s welcome announcement that Israel and Hamas have declared a ceasefire, today’s infographic has been rendered mercifully redundant. It now stands merely as a record of the level of cyber warfare that took place between the two warring factions and also serves as an instructive portrayal of the kind of virtual mayhem that it is now perfectly possible to wage online. When Q says to Bond in Skyfall that he can wreak more havoc sitting in his pyjamas before breakfast than Bond can in a month, he’s not joking. Brave new world, indeed, as Bond replies. Click on … Continue reading Israel and Hamas ceasefire ends cyber warfare – an annotated graphic

BP accepts record fine for Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill – an annotated graphic

BP has agreed to pay a $4bn fine after pleading guilty to 14 criminal charges over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, in which 11 people died. This fine is the largest criminal penalty in U.S. history. Cue massive price hike at the BP pumps. Criminal charges and death – is the pursuit of oil really worth it? E&T magazine covered the Deepwater Horizon disaster in depth at the time. For example, you might enjoy our comprehensive timeline of events, along with the numerous Related articles which are linked to from that … Continue reading BP accepts record fine for Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil spill – an annotated graphic

Israel’s Iron Dome vs Hamas rockets – an annotated graphic

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system is designed to attack short-range rockets and shells. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday that of 300 attempted Iron Dome interceptions in the past five days, about 85 per cent had succeeded. That’s 255 missiles intercepted, 45 missed. Not a bad interception ratio, all in all, although try telling that to the people those 45 landed on. Click on the graphic for an expanded view. Continue reading Israel’s Iron Dome vs Hamas rockets – an annotated graphic

The Eccentric Engineer compilation book now available from E&T

Since 2007, Justin Pollard – a writer on BBC TV’s QI programme – has contributed the Eccentric Engineer column to E&T magazine.  The column has been campaigning to remind engineers of the extraordinary role that their subject has played in human history. Justin’s new book, Buses, Bankers & the Beer of Revenge, gathers together the best of these musings, highlighting the most famous engineering tales, as well as the unusual, the erratic and the patently insane. In its fifty stories, the book covers everything from aircraft carriers made of ice, to the origins of the omnibus. It toys with Roman … Continue reading The Eccentric Engineer compilation book now available from E&T