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Shackleton...one of the most inspiring and successful leaders ever. Some years back, when an attempt was being made to revive the London Boat Show at Earl's Court, I was wandering around the upstairs exhibition when I came face to face with the "James Caird". I stopped dead, rooted to the spot like a pointer dog....couldn't believe it; I had no idea that the vessel still survived. When I got next to it and read the placard and finally accepted that this really WAS the boat that Shackleton had sailed to South Georgia over a vast tract of trackless ocean, I was awestruck. Being able to touch the thing.....crikey! I have a video of the film made by the expedition's photographer, and some still photos too...almost a century ago; hard men, they were....to survive the capture in the ice of their ship, a trek over the ice towing the rowing boats, an open water voyage to Elephant Island and finally the voyage to South Gerogia and the first ever crossing of the island...then rescuing the remainder of his crew, months later...and he never lost a man. As I said, inspiring stuff......

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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Well after Dave Oneshot highly recommended " Challenger - a major malfunction " by Malcolm McConnell, I thought I'd better take the plunge ( no pun intended ).

At first I found it a little hard going concentrating as it did on the political back drop and the major industrial players involved. Who got the huge contracts and why etc

Once the crew were introduced and we began to move towards take off, the book took on a whole new feel.

Now we were dealing with real human lives rather than political/industrial manoeuvring.

It was sad that a known problem led to the loss of human life, and for my part, I'm not convinced that NASA has learnt its lesson. I can still imagine something very similar happening again.

I was amazed to discover that at least 3 of the astronauts did not perish in the blast. Indeed, it's possible that they all survived the explosion.

What killed them was their fall to earth. In 75 seconds and before hitting the water, the capsule in which they were still encased would have been subjected to 200G

I'm pretty sure no ones internal organs could withstand that sort of pressure.

Overall, a fascinating read.

Thanks for the recommendation Dave and if anyone wants to read the book please PM me your details.

Graham

Wing Commander Dibble DFC<br /><br />
North Midlands Esprit Group<br /><br />
NMEG "the formidable squadron"<br /><br />
"probably the most active Esprit group in the world" Andy Betts, Castle Combe May 2007

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I'm assuming most people have read "Birdsong" by Sebastian Faulkes?

This was recommended to me and it whilst I would not have usually chosen a wartime/love story, this book is a true classic for a very good reason. Its quite remarkable.

Again, the "Time traveller's wife" I would not normally choose but a very interesting concept to create a scenario for a very unusual love story. Film is rubbish compared.

Currently, I'm reading "Why E=MC2" by Brian Cox, co author. This book was written a few years ago so is not spoilt by the current "Cox-hype". Its not as scary as its title suggests and the maths is very basic. He manages to neatly explain things like why and how time slows at speed etc. Of all the books on this subject I've read(Schrodingers kittens and others) his is by far the most reader friendly.

Edited by slewthy

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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