Neil's News


1 January 2005

Every New Year at exactly midnight I run a script to rotate and compress the web logs on our server. Yes, I could stick this on a cronjob, but since it's both an important and a rarely run operation, I feel safer doing it in person. Every year when I run this command there's a terrific bang outside a few seconds later as the sky lights up with fireworks. Correlation does not imply causation, but it's cool none the less.

This year the fireworks are a bit different. Since the cloud deck is currently lower than the rockets' apogee, the show is hidden from view. Gotta love Scottish weather. That's also one of the limiations of solid rocket motors, their performance is preset. Of course the obvious solution is to tape some balast to the rockets; say a piece of gravel or a couple of pennies. Or launch them off-vertical. But judging by the diffuse flashes coming from the clouds, nobody seems to have thought of this.

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