We have already looked at master masons earlier in this series. Another vital craftsman was the blacksmith.
|Blacksmith at Guédelon|
|Blacksmith at Guédelon|
On the Moon, a permanent base was set up in lava tubes close to the South Pole. Here they had light for their solar power arrays and frozen ice to supply the base with water. Being underground protected them from the temperature extremes on the surface and the airtight tunnels meant that residents needed neither suits nor helmets.To my surprise, this is exactly what NASA and other space organisations are planning.
|Lava Beds National Monument, California|
|The White Tower, Tower of London|
If your body does not have enough of one of the components of blood, you may develop serious life-threatening complications.
Blood donors are asked many questions about their health, behaviour, and travel history in order to ensure that the blood supply is as safe as it can be. Only people who pass the survey are allowed to donate. Donated blood is tested according to national guidelines. If there is any question that the blood is not safe, it is thrown away.
- Red blood cells carry oxygen through your body to your heart and brain. Adequate oxygen is very important to maintain life.
- Platelets help to prevent or control bleeding due to low platelet count.
- Plasma and cryoprecipitate, replacement coagulation factors, also help to prevent or control bleeding.
|Guédelon Castle under construction|
was far quicker and more accurate than ever before. This meant that the very last keyboards were recycled and speech became the standard way to communicate with computers. Throat microphones also became common and more sensitive, which meant that they could detect and understand speech without it being audible to others.
|Area 51 (Image Getty)|
|Chepstow Castle (carneycastle.com)|
|Belvoir Castle, Jerusalem|
|Credit: kwest shutterstock|
|Coastal erosion at Hemsby UK (BBC)|
|Tower of London|
|Swansea Castle from Castle Bailey Street|
Machines that can learn and correct themselves already perform better than doctors at some tasks, says Jörg Goldhahn, but Vanessa Rampton and Giatgen A Spinas maintain that machines will never be able to replicate the inter-relational quality of the therapeutic nature of the doctor-patient relationship.
… anyone on Earth with a webcam and internet access could ask an astronaut, cosmonaut or taikonaut a question, leave words of encouragement or make useful suggestions. Insults or negative comments were screened out by AIs and the travellers spent much of their time each day answering questions with a camera bot following them as they spoke and worked.
In the 2070s the Internet of computers changed from a World Wide Web of information to the R Net of relevant knowledge. This meant that people were fed information triggered by position, direction, occupation and requirement. All this information was delivered through AR glasses and voice activated AIs. Most websites disappeared and activation engines appeared to replace search engines.There are already applications which access GPS and give you information relevant to your location, and map applications can track your position as you travel. Company servers hold databases of information relevant to your occupation. But how do you specify your requirements except through a search engine?
|Arrow loop or slit|
|Jurvetson Google driverless car|
In many castles, the ditch was a pre-existing topographical feature, but in some it had to be laboriously dug out by teams of serfs or soldiers. Elsewhere, some lords used lakes or rivers as natural water defences, while others employed earthworks experts or water engineers to create and fill their moat. (The Medieval Castle Haynes Manual)The site was chosen with these things in mind and would often be on a hilltop or promontory to provide defences, but consideration was also given to the availability of resources: stone and trees for building materials and food and water for the workmen and eventually for the castle’s inhabitants.
|Motte-and-bailey castle showing outer palisade and ditch (castlesworld)|
|Nissan Leaf electric car|
|Motte-and-bailey castle (castlesworld)|
|Modern model of Dynefwr Castle|
The most obvious legacy of the Medieval period in the UK and France is the castle. They are everywhere, mostly in varying states of ruin. I have written previously about why you should visit castles and how to go about it. I also did a series on my local castles (Gower has a lot of castles), including Why visit a castle? and How to visit a castle. But I recently bought the Haynes manual of the castle, which looks at the construction and use of the castle, and I thought it would be fun to do a series on that.
One of the books I’m reading for my science fiction research has the huge title of A Brief History of the Future, the Third Millennium and Human Colonization of the Solar System: The Terraforming of Mars and Venus (HHcSS Book 1). The first innovation he suggests is mobile phone technology implanted in the brain. People will be able to make calls and send messages directly from one brain to another. It sounds like a good idea, so I Googled it to find out how feasible it is today.
As you can see, I haven't been keeping up my usual blogging programme. In November I took part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to write the first draft of the next Kestrel novel. Lots of things fell by the wayside in order to get that done, so December was spent catching up.
On top of that my husband and I, who are both disabled, both had health issues (which are still going on). There were some family issues to deal with too, not all bad: our daughter had her third son in November and now has three children under four. We try to help out where we can. She lives less than half an hour away and we have the two older boys on separate afternoons each week. They are a delight but very tiring, as you can imagine.
So rather than scrape up any old blog post I waited until I could write something worthwhile. It's taken longer than I expected, as I had end-of-year and New Year stuff to do, but here I am. For my history fans I am writing a series on the construction of a castle, and for my science fiction fans I will be continuing with the series about my science research.
There will also be news of my books:
There is now a permafree history book The Conquest of Wales, which is free on all retailers including Amazon.
I am planning some research on possible topics for my next history book.
I am going to see if Kindle Print will produce my print history books, which will greatly simplify sales, but as the books don't have a spine it may not be possible.
My latest science fiction novel (produced in NaNoWriMo) is with two readers who are going to critique it and think about how to expand it to novel length, as the first draft is too short.
I'm still working on short stories about the back story of some of the Kestrel crew. There are three at the moment but only one is available: Stowaway is permafree on all retailers.
I've signed up for a marketing course which I also have to find time for. Time to study and time to implement what I learn.
And I haven't done anything with my poetry for ages.
So as you can see, I'm going to be busy. I hope you will stay with me, enjoy my blog posts, and watch out for news. You can even sign up for my mailing list and get free books and advance news.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz