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silence!

greek fire

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aquatus1

Nukeons? We are talking about weapons of war and their capabilities, not about any war in particular. This isn't politics, it's hardware. You want to talk politics, there are plenty of other threads for that.

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silence!

damn straight

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Yasha

It's strange how we forget all these things that we could do before so called "intelligence" of the human race...

Pyramids, how? Greek fire, how? Why can we not replicate this when we're so "advanced". makes mewonder if we were once a super-powerful space travelling race that got wipedout except for a few survivors, "adam and eve"? wacko.gifblink.gif

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Dando Kast
The complaints seem to come from civilians who were targetted incorrectly....

475080[/snapback]

*shrugs*

That's why we have failsafes. Those civilians weren't targeted. As soon as the missile went off-course, the warhead deactivated, which is why the civilians still lived to complain. In the first three months of the war, my squadron sent eighteen missiles without a single error, and the entire carrier had only one electronic failure, at which time the launch was aborted. During the whole war (prior to the end of major action), over 15,000 smart bombs were dropped, and only seven went off-course. Five of them, deactivated, the other two self-destructed in flight.

For the first time in recorded history, weapons are being designed not for wanton and indescriminate destruction, but rather to minimize death and avoid collateral damage. Wars are being planned based on the safety of civilians. There will never be any such thing as a safe war, but we have come a long ways from the early sack and rape that started it all. From the earliest Greek fire, which ensured a slow and painful death to your enemy and anyone else he came into contact with (including yourself), to a precisely dropped, highly efficient napalm munition so concentrated that it will instantly overload the human sensory system and cause a painless death. It isn't pretty, but it is far preferable.

But I digress. My apologies.

475154[/snapback]

Ah.... that makes sense I guess.... too bad nothing we'll ever be 100% accurate or safe to civilians....

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aquatus1
It's strange how we forget all these things that we could do before so called "intelligence" of the human race...

Pyramids, how? Greek fire, how? Why can we not replicate this when we're so "advanced". makes mewonder if we were once a super-powerful space travelling race that got wipedout except for a few survivors, "adam and eve"? wacko.gifblink.gif

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Pyramids? Basic engineering. Greek Fire? Why replicate? We have better and safer methods today. The great technologies from the past were great because they were done in the past. The same thing today would be mediocre at best, an outright waste at worst. Imagine someone trying to built the pyramids today. No one would be impressed.

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Dando Kast

Imagine someone trying to built the pyramids today. No one would be impressed.

unless you were to use the same materials and build them under the same conditions as they built in the past.... that might impress a few depending on how long it would take us too build such a structure.....

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aquatus1

Unlikely. The great majority would shake their heads and mutter "What a waste."

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__Kratos__

Yeah but its the knowledge some seek. Not everybody is bent on power and speed.

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aquatus1

What knowledge?

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Elfstone810
Imagine someone trying to built the pyramids today.  No one would be impressed.

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Actually, there are a few modern pyramids. One is a museum building (I believe it's connected to the Louvre) in France and is considered an eyesore. The other major one is a casino in Las Vegas. I can't remember the name, though a friend of mine stayed there and sent me a postcard once. disgust.gif You're pretty much right, though. I don't think anyone is really impressed by either of them. (I think there's at least one more, too. It's an office building somewhere on the American West Coast. There was a TV program on this a few years ago on The History Channel or somesuch.

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zudo

stonehenge... Last year, or the year before, thhese peeps were tryng to replicate how they built stone henge (in a documentary) it took the m forever... we didn't finish watching the documentary

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aquatus1

I did. It took them six hours to set a lintel (not counting the prep time). That was one of the larger ones, and the one that would have taken the most time and effort. They could have replicated the entire monument in less than three months.

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Elfstone810
I did.  It took them six hours to set a lintel (not counting the prep time).  That was one of the larger ones, and the one that would have taken the most time and effort.  They could have replicated the entire monument in less than three months.

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Cool! So how did they do it, do you remember? You say they were using methods that would have been available to the people who built the original? Did they address how the stones were transported to the site?

The thing that has alwalys puzzled me about Stonehenge is that it was supposed to have taken so long to build (centuries). It just seems to me that anything that took that much concentrated time and effort on the part of a society shouldn't be too terribly mysterious. I mean, it would almost have to be a religious monument that we simply don't understand because we don't know enough about their religion. What else would motivate people for so long?

Did anyone see the special a few years back where they were talking about ley lines and the way certain prehistoric monuments seem to line up and they took modern buildings and were pointing out all kinds of relationships between them, the landscape, heavenly bodies, etc.? It was all stuff that we know is purely coincidental, (I think one of them was the spires of two cathedrals were in a direct line with the sun at sunrise on the vernal equinox or something like that). You can see, though, how someone from another civilization might look at them and think, 'Wow! That has to mean something!'.

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aquatus1
Cool! So how did they do it, do you remember? You say they were using methods that would have been available to the people who built the original? Did they address how the stones were transported to the site?

The actual placement was done with nothing more than brute strength and earthen ramps, a technique discovered by hundreds of cultures through the ages. Nothing needed but shovels, ropes, and elbow grease. As far as transportation, the big thing would have been the ocean crossing. They showed how it would have been possible to float them across on two hollowed out rafts, however I am a bit skeptical about that method. I would need to know a bit more about it prior to making a final decision.

The thing that has alwalys puzzled me about Stonehenge is that it was supposed to have taken so long to build (centuries).

Ah-ah, careful now! Stonehenge has been worked on for centuries, but it wasn't all one project. The original was a small horseshoe of the giant lintels in the center. Years later, an outer ring was added. Even later beyond that, long after the original users were gone, a third construction was added, which no longer exists. As new people came into the area over the centuries, they modified Stonehenge to their liking, but this doesn't mean that the entire structure took that long to build. The ones who began it all didn't even finish out their turn before they got invaded.

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Elfstone810
As new people came into the area over the centuries, they modified Stonehenge to their liking, but this doesn't mean that the entire structure took that long to build.  The ones who began it all didn't even finish out their turn before they got invaded.

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Good point. I confess, I only had one class in college that dealt even remotely with these cultures (my area was classic archaeology) and although I passed it was mostly luck, because at the time I couldn't afford to buy the book for the course. hmm.gif (Also, it was an anthropology course and the professor hated the two of us archaeology majors who took it. One of our profs said the guy was jealous because archaeologists get the pretty artwork and the buildings and anthropologists get the middens and copra grin2.gif)

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undersquiggle

As for the whole failsafe thing that america has going on, they actually have an artillery shell that houses a GPS system that is will hit a target within 10 meters even when fired 7 miles off course. it was on discovery channel. it was amazing.

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Gatofeo

For a very interesting book, one that discusses Greek Fire at length, check out:

Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World.

By Adrienne Mayor.

Amazon.com has it at around $5 American (um ... 2 pounds UK, would that be?).

Anyway, it's a fascinating book.

You'll learn that pigs were used in early times to frighten war elephants (biological warfare) and that even today, elephants apparently still have a fear of pigs. Clay pots filled with scorpions or bees, then sealed, were hurled over the enemy's walls or onto the deck of his ship. Greek Fire was used but even today no one can agree on its formula. Ancient armies created smokepots, in which they burned poisonous plants, sulfur, toxic metals and other substances designed to burn the eyes and lungs.

An archaeology dig in the Middle East uncovered a couple of incendiary grenades dating back centuries. I don't have the book with me, it's in my office, so I can't be specific.

This topic has been little explored but the book examines it well. If you know someone who likes ancient history, military history or even chemistry or microbiology, this would be an excellent gift. It's written for the layman, so you're not overwhelmed with technical jargon.

I highly recommend it.

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aztek

when i was a kid, we used to cut in half a engine valve, and there was this mettal, very soft, almost like a paste, trow it in the water,and it would violently react, with it. not all valves had this stuff, only big ones.

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Awlsew

Condensate, had to have been condensate.

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Awlsew

The only common substance known today that fits the description of Greek Fire is natural gas condensate, aka 'drip gas'. 

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Piney
17 minutes ago, Awlsew said:

Condensate, had to have been condensate.

Read back to the first page. It could of been sodium in a petroleum suspension. 

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Awlsew
22 minutes ago, Piney said:

Read back to the first page. It could of been sodium in a petroleum suspension. 

I had seen that notion before. All they had to have done though was collect drip gas.

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Piney
On 2/3/2005 at 12:06 PM, aquatus1 said:

I believe you are both talking about Sodium (NA). In pure form, it is so reactive that the moisture from your hand will cause it to smolder (wear gloves), yet it is so soft that you can cut it with a knife (and briefly see the shiny metal surface, before it reacts with the moisture in the air and rusts). It is generally transported in kerosene, so yes, a oil based emulsion could conceivably hold it in suspension (Not animal oil, though. It would have to be petroleum based). If it contacts water, it will combust rapidly, to the point of explosiveness.

Congrats, I think you may have solved the mystery of the ages!

@Awlsew   Nope. This 

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Awlsew
1 minute ago, Piney said:

@Awlsew   Nope. This 

If it was that simple, then why has the 'secret' of Greek Fire been a mystery for so long? It seems folks would have figured that out years ago.

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Piney
Just now, Awlsew said:

If it was that simple, then why has the 'secret' of Greek Fire been a mystery for so long? It seems folks would have figured that out years ago.

There's a video on Youtube NatGeo or one of those, where they tried to reproduce it. I have to look.  

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