Monday, 20 April 2020

Medieval Castle Ruins Digitally Reconstructed

Sometimes when you visit a ruined castle they have on display an artist’s impression of how the castle looked when it was complete. Sometimes there is even a model, like this one of Dinefwr Castle:

These days it’s amazing what they can do on a computer. I found this article showing seven digital restorations of European medieval castles. I hope you enjoy it.

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

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Research: Lunar Accelerator

The next prompt from Charles Joynson’s A Brief History of the Future for my research into the future was the lunar accelerator. Here is the passage:
Long trip times getting from Earth to Mars caused many researchers to investigate ways to increase shuttle speeds… However in 2267 the concept of the lunar accelerator was proposed. This used the same concept as the Skylifts but would be built on the Moon. 
The lunar accelerator was created by using 3D printing technology to make a magnetic levitation track across the surface of the Moon. Firstly a cementation surface was printed followed by a film of conductive metal, and finally solar panels were printed to one side of the track. 
Building a perfectly flat track meant levelling the lunar surface by removing boulders and hills, and filling craters and holes. The track followed the solar plane and only one direction of launch was allowed in case of collisions. 
The 50-kilometre track was finished in 2289 and the first shuttle launched after arrival from Earth in 2290. However shuttles could only be launched towards Mars when the Moon was in the right position and then only when Mars was close enough to Earth to make the journey as short as possible, which up until the accelerator was operational had been just once in every twenty-six months. 
In practice the accelerator’s launch window was once a month during each six months of closest approach when the accelerator was mono-directional and later twice a month after 2314 when it was converted to allow bi-directional launches.