Steam Punk

Did you know you can make a phonograph (an analog sound recording and playback device for you millennials and beyond) with Dirt, Water, a Wheel, a Pointy Stick, and a Membrane to attach it to?

In analog recording what you want to do is create an analogue (homophone meaning similar as opposed to continuously variable) of the air pressure involved in its transmission. So you focus it at a the membrane you have the pointy stick attached to, mix up your dirt and water into clay, toss it on the wheel so you can make a cylinder (kinda, doesn’t matter much) and while it’s still soft enough scratch it with the pointy stick.

Bingo. Voice of the Pharaoh s. You can add bells and whistles like Wax recording medium, metal needles instead of sticks, and amplifying cones, but the fundamentals are really that simple. Took Thomas Edison to put it together though.

So for years and years Aircraft Carriers were basically holes in the Ocean with flat spots on top and if you needed a bit of wind pressure to lift your brick off the deck the Captain would point the ship into it and crank the engines up to ramming speed. With the advent of Jet power (which goes fast but starts slow) that was no longer sufficient and so the Steam Powered Catapult was invented. It’s a huge monster of a beast and can fairly be said to be the spine of a modern Carrier.

Now with Nuclear Power you have as much steam as you want, but you also have electricity which is more digital and controllable (Steam is explosive and if you don’t believe me read any history of the Mississippi) and you can launch planes with it (Railguns with the Plane as Projectile), even land them (Magnetics), and our Navy decided this was the next big thing.

Other countries are going with Ski Jumps and STOL but you know, USA!, USA!

Now like other digital things version 1.0 is a piece of crap and I’m certainly not one to advocate helter skelter replacement of things that work, but I’m not quite the Luddite Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio is.

Trump tells troops that future US supercarriers are ‘going to use steam’ in a weird rant about an obsession he can’t seem to shake
by Ryan Pickrell, Business Insider

President Donald Trump suddenly and inexplicably returned to a persistent obsession — the aircraft launch systems on the new Ford-class supercarriers — while talking with US troops stationed in Japan on Tuesday.

At one point, Trump told the troops that future carriers would return to using steam to launch aircraft.

The US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers have used steam launchers for decades to catapult aircraft off the flight deck, but the service is investing heavily in an Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System for the newer Ford-class supercarriers.

Development setbacks have driven up costs, delayed deliveries, and repeatedly drawn the president’s ire.

The troops overwhelmingly supported the use of steam; however, there were some who cheered for the newer system.

Trump — a staunch proponent of traditional steam catapults that are less complex than the alternatives, which he believes a person must be “Albert Einstein” to fully understand and operate — quipped that service members who supported the use of electromagnetic catapults were working for the enemy.

As he has done many times throughout his presidency, Trump championed the use of steam catapults to launch aircraft from the Navy’s new carriers.

“Steam’s only worked for about 65 years perfectly,” the president said. “They have a $900 million cost overrun on this crazy electric catapult. I said, ‘What was wrong with steam?'”

“We want to go with steam,” he further remarked. “They are always coming up with new ideas.” He added: “They want to show next, next, next. And we all want innovation, but it’s too much. There’s never been anything like the steam catapult.”

He argued that the “delicate” electromagnetic catapults were more expensive, less likely to hold up in battle, and no more efficient than the steam catapults.

“I think I’m going to put an order — when we build a new aircraft carrier, we’re going to use steam,” he said, suggesting a radical overhaul to a key Navy research-and-development project.

A return to steam would require a significant redesign of the new Ford-class carriers should the president decide to follow through on his statements in Japan.

Ah, but those top hats and bowlers with the round Dwayne Wayne welder’s glasses are so cool looking.