Saturday, February 17, 2018

Service cruising acquiring megaship and bottles

Car service today.
It's been a little delayed (but not much) because of what was going on with my dad but there was a good opportunity to slot in the car service and a little extra today. I hadn't been wanting to arrange it before because there was a good chance of having to break an appointment made before being certain where I'd be.

The car gets serviced where I bought it, up in Cheltenham. Which gives the opportunity to indulge in a little going back home .... the long way. I've actually driven on those roads before, albeit not all the way to Cardiff. I did a little series of comments on the Facebook :

On the one hand, I have a headache and the pressure in my eyes that must be like what a minor migraine is like.

On the other hand, currently in Cheltenham and still intend to make a side trip to Cardiff on the way back.

Sore head but .... There is a Lego shop there ....
Yeah. I had the sore head this morning. I have a bit of a caffeine dependency and it sometimes manifests like the above if I have too much blood in my caffeine stream. Or the sore head could have been due to my glasses being mucky. Either way, a caffeine dependency (any chemical dependency!) is bad and I tackle it at work via having fake (decaff) coffee. The headache is pretty much gone now, so it may have been also partly anxiety headache. I don't like car servicing. I did get a good few chapters of Cibola Burn while waiting though.

The trip to Cardiff was fun for while I was in the countryside roads. There was some great scenery whizzing by. The roads seemed to be molded into the terrain, instead of cutting through the terrain like the modern straight roads do it. Gentle curves keeping things on the flat, things like that. Definitely some pretty countryside and green hills to look at while "OMG WHAT IS THAT DRIVER IN FRONT DOING !" No crashes were had today from not paying attention.

It would be good to visit Wales some more and indulge in that countryside air.

Or more Cardiff and a city I quite enjoyed wandering through today. Until the time came for the homing instinct to take me back to the car park. Homing instinct was broken. It took a while.

Lunch was very good. It would be a waste to go to the chain coffee places when going somewhere new but I found :
Tasty munchies.

I also found a place selling very cheap cds too. Only 6 escaped, although I daftly bought one duplicate. Oops. It was a very cheap cd place so I've only lost £2 there. What did I get ?
Maroon 5 - 1.22.03 Acoustic EP
The White Stripes - De Stijl
T'Pau - The Promise - I had no idea they'd made a third album.
Enya - A Day Without Rain
Belinda Carlisle - The Collection.

I'll enjoy listening to those. But .... Cardiff. Lots of shops. What's the main event ?
Yep. A den of miniature piranha masquerading as ankle biting knee high to grasshopper creatures that will knock you down, trample you and steal your money so they can buy little plastic bricks. (No children were harmed by me today - honest!)

Lego store was packed. It was mayhem ! They had good stuff on display too.
That's the Mega Falcon. Just under 7,500 pieces and it's a monster. The picture belies the size, until you look at the detail and see the mini figures adding scale and the small boxes up above. Even if I acquired that kit and built it, I have no idea where I'd find the space to put it. IT'S MASSIVE !

Lots more there too, including all the kits you'd see in normal shops, more of the rarer kits too like the Saturn V rocket and ....
Ship in Bottle ! That picture may or may not be from my car boot again.

A productive trip today, although I may pay for it tomorrow with a need to hibernate. We shall see.

Closing words ? There are no closing words today. Just :
Beep beep. Boop. Beep.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Orvillean War Trek

So - Monday rolls around and that's often a time to indulge in a couple of bits of scifi.

Well. Not actually Monday for one because I tend to watch The Orville on a weekend after recording it on Thursdays.

It's been a week since I posted ? What have I been up to ? Let's see.

Motorsport Managing. My team grows .... stronger.
Little bit of reading, although I suspect that the Freedom's Landing book may have curbed the enthusiasm a bit. Hopefully Cibola Burn (Expanse book 4) will reawaken it.
Lovely night out on Thursday. I can kinda judge my emotional state by how positive I am when I'm moving around. A stomp means I'm not happy. A bounce means I'm feeling good. I'll still have the latent hyperactivity, that's with me most of the time but the ease with which I move around is tied to my mental state. If I'm feeling good, I can ignore soreness better.
Maze Runner 3 on Friday. Actually a very good final film to this trilogy. The Maze Runner films have done well at presenting beginning, middle and end for each film that made sense and that's continued in number 3. I enjoyed it (despite the presence of old child students who haven't learned to behave in public). You would be utterly lost though if you haven't seen the first two.
Winter Olympics has started ... been watching a bit of that, although stuff from that part of the world happens at a bad time zone for me.
And then I lost track of yesterday in a Stellaris trance.
But this post was supposed to be about the scifi.

We've been doing well lately again for proper space scifi. There was a drought for a few years until programmes like Dark Matter, Killjoys and now The Expanse, The Orville and Star Trek Discovery came back on screen.

It's good to escape the day world every so often and my escape of choice is science fiction. I'm a bit sad that Dark Matter seems to be no more, it grabbed me with an interesting start and seemed to be hitting its stride. Killjoys is different, I thought that was losing its way somewhat. They escalate the story in Killjoys and I don't think the setting handles that escalation particularly well.

I'm transfixed by The Expanse and I'm looking forward to that one coming back. Hopefully they will brighten up that third book which, if they go by previous form, will start in the second half of the third series. It's a compelling vision of the near future and .... the setting makes a lot of sense.

Ok, maybe not the alien part of the setting but they needed a catalyst to get everything else going.

Nah - I wanted to talk about The Orville and Star Trek Discovery more today.

The Orville has been described as Star Trek Next Generation's eighth series. It isn't. It's something different. It's space scifi done for fun .... but it will still (in Gene Roddenberry's words from an audiobook I have) creep up behind you and hit you with a heavy idea or two. (I think I got that right). So in The Orville, we've had ideas like oppression, like forced infant mutilation (the sex change) and I suspect we'll see more as the series continues.

(Yes, my brain is a little broken still from the Stellaris session and it's run out of energy to think with - used it all at work)

The Orville starts with the fun but keeps that reined in so it doesn't become stupid ... And then it hits you over the head with a few heavy ideas that you weren't expecting. While treating you as an adult.

Star Trek Discovery has been different. Very different to what we'd expect from a Star Trek. I wouldn't call it Star Trek, I'd call it War Trek. A darker series than any we've had before. Darker even than Enterprise, which was being dragged down by the grim scifi trend at the time of its release. (The trend of Stargate Universe and the Battlestar Galactica remake).

Not every Trekkie will like Discovery. Some will decry it as heresy. I liked it. But then I'm never one to go with herd instinct, I'll experience something and make my own mind up about it.

I can't say too much about Discovery without dropping major spoilers but it was great to see the unexpected events coming in throughout an exceptionally strong second half to the first series.

Check 'em out !

Definitely The Expanse for drama. The Orville for fun. And Discovery for .... shocks ? Surprises ?

I need to eat a dictionary for more words. I feel like I do not have enough words at the moment. But I'll go for something from Thursday instead :

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Acquiring Things At The Mall

I've been at the Mall tonight and I've acquired something ...

Tonight was going to be spent watching the first Falcon Heavy rocket launch which will hopefully still happen soon. Instead of letting loose a single rocket, this one is effectively 3 Falcon 9 first stages strapped together with a second stage on top. They plan to land all three first stages and then have the payload, Elon Musk's Tesla Roadset, head on over to Mars.

I hope it succeeds ! Anyway that was originally scheduled to go at 6.30pm UK time but the launch has been pushed back due to high winds. I just heard the webcast start up in another window.

I spotted something similarly spectacular earlier too ...
What might that be ?

It's the Ultimate Collector Series version of the Star Wars Millennium Falcon (Lego shop link, don't look at the price). At 7,541 pieces, it is the biggest Lego set to date. Bigger than the Death Star even. It's rarer than Plutonium. And John Lewis had one on the shelf today. The bottom shelf mind, probably cos no one is going to want to lift that to the top shelf and it would make a big dent in anyone taking a casual look at it.

They were offering complementary wheels to go with this so you could easily take it out of the Lego shops.

I've seen this one being put together as well. I've been keeping an eye on the Brickbuilder Youtube channel and while they've been on a bit of a break or building very small kits lately, this is their speed build of the big Falcon. I may watch that again at some point. All 52 minutes of (ahem) speed build.

Actually, I may have my answer for Next Lego Set from peeking at the Lego Shop. Check out this ship in a bottle. Very curious.

Ooooo - the Spacex webcast for Falcon Heavy just kicked off (if in time, here it is : ). Not long to launch !

I better get to watching.

Oh ! What did I buy at the Mall ? I did not, sadly, buy an enormous Lego Millennium Falcon. A shame as it would complete my set of 3 so far. (Actually there's another small one available now that I don't have)

I nearly got locked out of my house yesterday ... I've already replaced the top lock and the lower lock is getting stiffer. It didn't want to turn for a while yesterday, so I've taken the hint and today's acquisition was a very boring :

House front door lock.
Yep. Adulting again.

I try not to make a habit of it but it's cold out there at the moment and I don't want to be locked out ! The locks of this place have done well. I've lived here for 16 years now and the locks are older than that. Hopefully the lock won't break before I get a chance to do locksmith things ...

PS Post launch addendum ...
Those are the two side boosters, they reported that the core landed too and that Tesla is on its way to Mars with a "DON'T PANIC" on the dash. Awesome stuff.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Book 6 Freedom's Landing vs Discovery

I finished off book 6 last night ! And then promptly bought and started another one.
The finished off book was Freedom's Landing by Anne McCaffrey who is much better known for the excellent Dragonriders of Pern series.

What did I think ? It could be a sign of continuing inward downward feelings but ... meh. You expect a book to have a beginning, middle and end. Even the books in the Dragonriders series that ran straight into another book had a beginning, middle and end. So too for the excellent Talents books. A book needs a beginning, middle and end.

This one had a beginning ... a second beginning ... more expansion on the beginning and ... eventually a bit of middle. I didn't detect a proper ending. This one is the first in a series of 4 and I'm not convinced that I'll acquire the other 3. But .... what's it about ?

Our central character is abducted along with an alien Catteni and dropped, along with about 500 others onto a mysterious planet. It looks benign. Tame even. As the story unfolds, we learn it is a farm planet for unidentified aliens. I'm sure those would come out more in the next books. (I have cheated and read the synopsises on ... that place online wot doesn't pay its taxes). This apparently benign planet has its dangers, which our main characters steadily find out about.

It's more about the limited interplay between the characters plus a light examination of the prejudices between people who are different and prejudices that are introduced by people who are just ... arseholes.

It's not nearly in the same league as those Dragonriders of Pern books that I grew up with ... but those were exceptional books from a hugely talented author. Perhaps the plan behind the book was what went wrong with this one. I don't think I'll be getting any more books in the Freedom's Landing series but it has made me want to re-read some of those books from long ago again. Like Restoree, like the Crystal Singer series (that had the word "unprintable" all the way through in a hamfisted effort of censorship of rude words !), like the excellent and always interesting Talents series. And the Planet Pirates series with Sassinak that drew my attention to Elizabeth Moon, who will get at least one entry in this series of 52 books.

The next book is the 4th in The Expanse series. An interesting start already. I must dive into more !

Discovery ?

This had a somewhat rocky start and is rather different to most Star Trek series. It's harder, grittier, befitting a series set in desperate war time against the most formidable enemy the Federation has come up against.

Discovery is following a definite series arc but it's doing that through episodes that lead you in gently at the beginning, that develop their story in the middle and give you a very definite "OMG WTH !" feeling at the ending as they pull out yet another surprise on you that you think you should have seen coming as the middle of the episode develops but is unveiled with a certain style and panache.

Not so much with the pre Xmas first half of the arc but this second half of the series has been exceptional throughout. I continue to watch with much curiosity. I want to see how they (spoilers redacted) ... finish it off.

Well worth signing up to the Netflixes for. I think I'll be binge rewatching it when the series is fully finished. It's not Trek. It's War-Trek. And they're doing a hell of a job with it.

Haha, just like what the people bringing the Expanse novels to the screen are managing to do !

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Boat Building

I was going to write about how I stay sane ...

But then Stellaris happened ... And that's one of those games that's really good at grabbing the attention. Anyway, one of those ways of keeping myself sane is to build things ...

What's the latest construction to arrive ? I did a teaser picture the other day ...
That has just enough information to tell you what it is (if you take the 42074 code over to the lego websites).
As always, click for bigger. These are pictures transferred straight from the phone again, so there's lots more pixels to look at. Just don't mind the dust on my couch !

Every ship build starts with a central point. A keel. It's typically the bottom centre of the boat, although modern ship building techniques are usually more about module builds, where they put together the ship in big blocks and then weld the blocks together. There are a number of fascinating videos about building modern warships and ocean liners, I'd thoroughly recommend them if you're interested in the engineering behind the ships.
The aft section comes in to encase the rudder.
Ocean racing yachts tend to be dual control machines, where the rudder is controlled from either side of the boat. That's to make sure the weight distribution is right. The wind tries to push the boat over, the sailors all try and be on the other side to balance the forces from the wind.
I think my helper is wanting me to photo him like those French Dragon Ladies he's heard about. I must be more careful with that internet search history.
The central hull starts coming together. We'll come back to the mechanism in the centre.
And 4D the dragon helps us take a better look at the almost complete bow. The odd looking Lego thing hanging off the front actually recesses back in to the hull when the yacht is complete.
The hull of the yacht is all complete now, with the bow area enclosed. That's where the sails go on a real racing yacht, with the sailors sleeping around the sails.

Hmm. 4D looks like he has designs on that yacht in the same way as a sea monster Kraken would. He must be seeing things in that internet history again.
And the completed yacht with her sails !!!

I quite enjoyed this build. Lego can be very cathartic to play with as it starts from totally unconnected bricks and gradually unveils its mystery of what's coming together. For a technic kit, this one was quite simple with just a few moving parts but it's still one of the better kits. Most Lego Technic tends to be cars and trucks which for me are : Seen one, seen all of them. The yacht is something a little different.

Let's have a look from another angle :
4D helping out again.

The boom of the mainsail moves (the mechanism from earlier) and the yacht has a working rudder. It's lovely to see and touch the moving parts and how they intricately interplay with each other.

A simpler kit but that's ok. I had as much enjoyment out of seeing this one come together as some of the bigger kits. What's next ? Could be another car ... Maybe.

Until the next kit !

Haha, could be this one, rebuilt as the catamaran double hull yacht.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Feeling the Melancholy

It probably won't surprise people that I'm being affected by the sad feelings at the moment.
I've ended up having a generally positive disposition. I'll look for the humour wherever I can and I'll dedicate time into and distract myself into making things that I hope make people laugh.

Because seeing people happy makes me happy, especially when they're happy due to something I've come up with.

But yeah, behind that public happy laughing smiling face there is the melancholy feeling. I know that it will pass but I also know that the catalyst for helping to make it pass is likely to be other people.

I feel I'm lucky to have a little nucleus of people that I can open up to, who I can make laugh, who give me excuses to unleash that latent creativity, people I can trust. And I try and return that by cheering other people up.

That's one thing about depression, when it hits it is very difficult for the person suffering from it to find how to climb out of that pit. It manifests in me by reduced energy levels, which make me cold. I also tense up which sparks off all those old injuries. And the pain that results from the injuries waking up again further tugs on my mental state.

I am in general ok. I'm not one of the unfortunate people who's depression comes from brain chemistry that, for want of a better description, is out to get them and which needs rebalancing via drugs that cause other problems through side effects. My depression tends to come from events, or me not wanting to do stuff that I really actually do need to do. I'd much prefer to play the games or watch the videos than, say, clean the house and make it suitable for visitors. Yet there are people who I'd like to have the house in a state suitable for visiting.

(I actually just spotted a message come in from one of those lovely friend people and happily replying to that has made me forget my thread here !)

Games are one method of covering? for the depression. I can hide in a good book or a good game as it transfers my sphere of concentration away from what's making me sad.

I do like to make jokes for people, although my humour is very reactive humour. I can never remember the old set piece type jokes but I'll pick up on what people have been saying or doing, recognise something funny in it and use the photo editing tools to create something to hopefully make them laugh or try and bring out a chuckle through words.

I hope you all have people to make you laugh, or to help you turn the unhappy feels around into that little smile that signifies things are going right in your world again.

My melancholy will start to lift soon. There are things on my mind which will be on there for at least the next week or so. Plus I'll be thinking of my mum and hoping she's ok. (And the sister!) We've lost too much of our family over the last few years, hopefully we don't lose any more soon !

That said, I'm not planning on disappearing off the face of the earth and my outsides are actually finally normalising. My sister's a fireball and my mum's a legend. We're a tough mob, although we've lost too many of us too early.

I'll definitely miss my nan, my dad and the old Ben-Pup (pets are family too). But I'll lean back on those good memories.

I hope that if you have lost people too, you can lean on those old memories as well. They may not be with us physically but we hold them with us in our memories.


And I just got a chuckling response from the HeyChrissa streamer lady from one of my random comments which brightened my evening.

That'll be my closing words for today - stay away from the general public for sure if you have to, they can be very mean. But those special people, stay engaged with them. If you think they're special, then that means you trust them to help you out when you need it.

Reach out if you need to.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Best dad ever

Gosh this one's going to be a tough post to write but let's start with a picture.
My dad passed away yesterday. I wasn't there but mum said it was peaceful and without pain.

But this isn't about the end, it's about the 75 years up to that point. This will only have a little bit about how good a dad I had but I hope it paints some of that picture.

Before you ask, I'm ok. The family's holding things together, as is our way. You have to keep on functioning, despite what you might be feeling. And that's what we do. (Although we will go to bits when we need to and in my case, writing has always been a better way to express my feelings than anything that goes from brain to gob).

I've been very lucky with my parents. They've always supported me, my sister and my brother when he was still with us. Pretty much everything they did was to support us kids.

What did he get up to ?

He pointed the way for me to get into the cricket. He hadn't played for a long time before I did but supported me all the way. As he did with my sister and her horse riding. He gave me my first start at work, which prepared me for going into full time work. (And it was very handy for giving me a cash injection too !).

They bought our first cars and supported us kids into getting our independence. Not as a pushing us out the door kind of independence, we were always welcome and encouraged to come back to stay. There is always a place for us to crash there. In fact, this actually extended to allowing one of my ex girlfriends (this was uni) to stay there rather longer than she ought after that incident when I rescued said ex from what could have ended up being a nasty domestic violence incident.

He was a very keen gardener (and there were very many tasty veggies coming out of that garden too !). He built a house for us in Northern Ireland. Not many people can claim to have done that ! Things were a struggle for the family quite a few times but we kids were insulated from that by remarkable parents ... but not so much that we weren't able to deal with hardship when it presented itself later.

He taught me that if you read up on how to do things, you can do anything.

Outside of what was gifted us through our genes, we've never been that lucky as a family. But through the inspiration of people like my mum and dad, we've hopefully come out ok. But that's for you all reading out there to judge.

There's more, like the couple of trips to Wembley to see Rotherham play plus that day when Rotherham played Swansea and the referee incited a pitch invasion. I enjoyed getting out to see Yorkshire play cricket at various grounds too. Cos that was time with my dad, which was always precious.

Proud of him ... and my mum, sister, brother while he was with us. Everything he touched had its own little bit of awesome with it.

Best dad ever. I'll miss him.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Book 5 - Catalyst for Bad News

Before I head into what'll be a rather short book review, I better say where I've been for the past few days ... (If you want to see the short book review and skip what could be hard to read, skip to the Lego Death Star).

I'm going to mysteriously disappear again quite soon and it's due to the family situation I've been alluding to over the last few weeks. My dad is very ill and we're not expecting him to be with us for too much longer.

He's had a few small strokes lately and the bugs that have been going around have probably been too much for him. They were tough enough for us semi-healthy people to cope with ! He was frail but mostly ok over an enjoyable Xmas but those bugs have hit everyone since then.

I've come back to Bristol for a few days now so I can do a little looking after of myself but I'll be heading back to where the parents live quite soon I think. What's happening has partially hit my emotional state but we're a family of people who don't let what's troubling us appear to the outside world much. We keep it hidden from most of the world and let out the emotions in private.

He's been hanging in there over the last few days but he is very ill and I don't think he'll be coming home as he'd like to. We just don't know how much time he has left.

Seeing how he is has made it hit home. So if the following mini review of book is downbeat, my own emotional state will be contributing to that.

To the book !
The book was Rogue One : Catalyst, a companion book to the recent highly excellent Star Wars universe movie. It was penned by James Luceno who I believe is a staff writer writing Star Wars lore books.

If you're into Star Wars lore like I used to be (before the Yuuzhan Vong New Jedi Order books soured it for me), then this is an essential book to read. It tells the story of some of the Rogue One characters, putting more flesh on the bones of what's going on in the movie. It concentrates on Galen Erso, Orson Krennic and has a bit of Governor Tarkin there as well. It picks up around the time of Attack of the Clones and before Revenge of the Sith and goes up to perhaps a year or so before the start of Rogue One.

But it's so drab and dreary ...

The Rogue One movie is excellent, joining the latest two main movies as one of the best films I've seen.

This book though, unless you are interested in the lore behind the book is an .... AVOID. There are far better books to read, even the depressing Abaddon's Gate was a far superior book. It does explain what it's trying to tell you very well but ... it's probably too tied into the rest of the source material and that doesn't give it the breathing space that would turn it into a compelling story in its own right. Or is that just limitations of the author.

But this could be my current state of mind dominating my feelings.

As always, look at what people say about books like this (I'll be avoiding the Star Wars Aftermath books), borrow multiple opinions and then make your own mind up.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Fleet gathers a flagship

This is actually a build from a while ago (September !) but, somehow, pictures never happened.

I must correct this !
That's not actually what was acquired. Although I wouldn't mind putting that together. And to have the space to put it together. I've acquired more Lego tonight (of which there will be a tease later), which is the catalyst for this post. What is this new flagship of the fleet ?
It came in many bags. Oh and as per usual, click for bigger. These are actually full size from the phone camera ! Normally, I'll post a pic to Facebook and download it from there as the easiest way of getting pictures off the phone. But actually connecting the phone up to the Macbook and copying to my desktop from there is easier.
The first bag had the keel, upon which all else is laid.
The distinctive shape of the hull emerges and the insides start to fill out.
This one is definitely an inside to out build. The control tower is taking shape there as well as a mechanism by which you can hang the finished ship when complete. If you are brave enough to have a few kilos of Lego hanging on a single hook.
A look at the insides from another angle. This is an exceptional kit by the way.
The insides are now completely fitted out. (And my phone camera starts to struggle with depth of field !)
Every space ship needs her engines.
The hull and armour starts to come together.
Can you tell what's coming together yet ?
Can you tell what it is yet ? :-D This is a First Order Star Destroyer from the new movies. Without giving the spoilers, it's a bigger ship than the original Star Destroyers. I think it's twice as long. But it still has that wonderful dagger like Star Destroyer profile which makes this one of the most iconic ships in sci fi for me.
Skipping forward a few, this is the completed flagship. It has the iconic control tower, it's just not nearly as big as the control towers on previous Star Destroyers (it's the different proportions).

And a better look at the box :
To reiterate, this was a wonderful Lego kit and I definitely enjoyed putting it together. Thoroughly recommended.

I mentioned a tease pic ...
There may be another picture later. Not tonight though. I'm not going to put the article together tonight.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Book 4 - Abaddon's Gate

More of the Expanse !

It's quite a big series now. I think 7 books have been released and there are two more to come. I've just finished book 3.

I've really enjoyed the series so far. It's an excellent examination of future space politics, technology, warfare, culture and above all, keeps it about the characters.
And there are space bars too.

I wasn't quite so impressed with Abaddon's Gate as I was with the first two books though. Hopefully it wasn't a sign of the series running out of steam and I'll definitely be returning to this series soon.

The problem with it is that it goes on too long. The book tells of one catastrophe following another. Which is ok, some books work really well like that. But there comes a point where you think there should be no more and that the story should be wrapped up. Adding yet another twist in makes the book outstay its welcome.

And that's the feeling I got with this one. Maybe lose 50 pages from it.

Or that could be my bug addled mind not having the patience for it this time around.

What's next ? Dunno yet. We'll see. I need to read some of my Waterways World magazines at some point too. I have those in mind for filling one of the 52 book slots. But I did want to talk about the physics of these books and why they work.

This series doesn't indulge in inertial compensators like most scifi. It has an excellent engine .... but that's it. Acceleration is acceleration and too much of it is deadly. How deadly ?

We're constantly subjected to a downwards acceleration force of 9.81m/s/s. Call it 1g. We feel the world hauling down on us, we're used to it, we kinda need it sometimes too. I just took a swig from my drink, that 1g keeps the drink in the glass until its time has come.

When we're in the car, every acceleration is a fraction of a G ... despite what it feels like if you have a crazy driver. Working the numbers .... 0 to 60 mph (100kph to make it easy) in 5 seconds works out to a steady 5.56 m/s/s or just over half a G.

Spacecraft go at much higher G accelerations during the early launch and then settle down in the later stages. Peeking at some Saturn V Apollo stats :
Liftoff - 1.25g, ramping up to a max of 3.9g just before Stage 1 shut off;
The Space Shuttle peaked at about 3g;
Soyuz is under 4g.

And a lot of that is so that they don't break the people. Equipment can typically be subjected to much higher accelerations. So if you have something unmanned, it can be thrashed more. We'll come back to that.

In the Expanse, the people are subject to similar g limits depending on where they come from. Earthers are more sturdy due to being used to 1g. Mars are still quite sturdy, if I remember right Mars has 0.6g. The Belters grow up in typically 0.3g or lower so if they don't have muscle and bone supplements, they literally can't go to Earth or they will die, muscles, bones and heart crushed by the gravity. But they can withstand acceleration for a shorter duration.

But ... they can also juice up with steroids and antinausea drugs to withstand that acceleration up to maybe 15g before blood vessels start exploding in their heads. One of the core threads of Abaddon's Gate is a Slow Zone, where they have a maximum speed ... and are dead stopped when they exceed that. As in ... (quick mental math) 120m/s/s or 12g minimum without juice or acceleration crash couches. OUCH.

What does that equate to in, say, Star Trek ? Let's go to another scifi universe first ... The Honorverse talks about up to 500g, with inertial compensators to stop the crew becoming embedded in the bulkheads when they step on the gas.

Let's start with Warp 1 or lightspeed in Star Trek ... Light speed is 299,792,458 m/s.

We'll be generous and say they take 10 seconds to get there ... And then divide by 10 again for 1g = 9.81m/s.

Answer - Warp 1 from stop to c in 10 seconds is .... 3,000,000 g. 3 million g.

Squish !

The Expanse is a smaller universe so far to the point that I've read but they make it make a huge amount of sense. Another bit of silliness is the amount of energy required. The Kinetic Energy equation is 0.5 x Mass x Velocity x Velocity. So that's 0.5 x Mass (Enterprise D was 4.5m tonnes) x 300 million squared. That's a lot of zeroes. I gotta work this out now :-)

Kinetic Energy of Enterprise D at Warp 1 = 0.5 x 4,500,000 x 300,000,000 x 300,000,000 =
202,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 kJ (tonnes to kg conversion balanced by J to kJ conversion)
That would be a lot of GigaWatts to get the ship to warp speed.

And I'm now looking forward to reading more Expanse ! Maybe Rogue One Catalyst first though.

PS Still bugged, so I'll keep the physics book back a little bit.