Giovanni Aldini

Giovanni Aldini, was an Italian physicist born in Bologna. He was a brother of a statesman, he became professor of physics at Bologna in succession to his uncle Luigi Galvani. His scientific work was chiefly concerned with galvanism and its medical applications, with the construction and illumination of lighthouses, with experiments for preserving human life and material objects from destruction by fire, he wrote in English in addition to his native Italian. In recognition of his merits, the emperor of Austria made him a knight of the Iron Crown and a councillor of state at Milan, where he died, he bequeathed a considerable sum to found a school of natural science for artisans at Bologna. Aldini's most famous public demonstration of the electro-stimulation technique of deceased limbs was performed on the executed criminal George Forster at Newgate in London in 1803; the Newgate Calendar describes what happened when the galvanic process was used on the body: On the first application of the process to the face, the jaws of the deceased criminal began to quiver, the adjoining muscles were horribly contorted, one eye was opened.

In the subsequent part of the process the right hand was raised and clenched, the legs and thighs were set in motion. Mary Shelley would have been only 5 years old in January 1803 when Aldini experimented on the corpse of George Foster. In her introduction to the 1831 edition of Frankenstein she does not mention Aldini, but "galvanism" was among the evening discussion topics before she experienced her "waking dream" that led to her writing. Chapter 5, the creature awakened: By the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open. Dibner, Bern. "Giovanni Aldini". Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 1. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. Pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-0-684-10114-9. Mark Pilkington: Sparks of Life. Article from The Guardian about Aldini's experiments on an executed criminal. A. Parent: Giovanni Aldini: from animal electricity to human brain stimulation. Can J Neurol Sci. 2004 Nov.

Oxford Shinty Club

Oxford Shinty Club was founded in 2013. Shinty is a traditionally Scottish team game played with sticks and a ball, similar but not equivalent to American field hockey; the co-ed Oxford Shinty Club competes in the English shinty championships and the ESA Tri-series. It acts as a feeder to the English Shinty Association; the club competes in the annual St Andrews sixes tournament. The Oxford club puts on an annual sixes competition, the Oxfordshire Shinty Sixes, in nearby Wallingford; the inaugural competition was won by a team from Dundee Shinty Club. The club is captained by founder Jolyon Claridge a St Andrews University shinty player. Oxford is one of four main shinty clubs within England, the others being Cornwall and The North. Oxford play home games at the GAA pitch on Horspath Road, their social media presence includes an Oxford Shinty Club page and Twitter sites. Oxford Shinty on Facebook Oxford Shinty on Twitter

Ordnance QF 25-pounder

The Ordnance QF 25-pounder, or more 25-pounder or 25-pdr, was the major British field gun and howitzer during the Second World War, possessing a 3.45-inch calibre. It was introduced into service just before the war started, combining high-angle and direct-fire high rates of fire, a reasonably lethal shell in a mobile piece, it remained the British Army's primary artillery field piece well into the 1960s, with smaller numbers serving in training units until the 1980s. Many Commonwealth of Nations countries used theirs in active or reserve service until about the 1970s and ammunition for the weapon is being produced by Pakistan Ordnance Factories; the design was the result of extended studies looking to replace the 18-pounder field gun and the 4.5-inch howitzer, the main field artillery equipments during the First World War. The basic idea was to build one weapon with the high velocity of the 18-pounder and the variable propelling charges of the howitzer, firing a shell about halfway between the two in size, around 3.5–4.0 inches of about 30 pounds.

Development during the inter-war period was hampered by a lack of money and it was decided to build a new design from existing 18-pounders by converting barrels but designing a new barrel and carriage for production when funds were available. The result was a 3.45 inches weapon firing a shell weighing 25 pounds. It was mounted on late model 18-pounder carriages. One of these used this was adopted for the new guns; the firing platform was attached to the gun and when lowered the gun was pulled onto it. This platform transferred most of the recoil forces to the ground, instead of using the spade at the end of the trail, making the gun stable when firing, it provided a smooth flat surface for the carriage to rotate on using the road wheels, this enabled the gunners to traverse the carriage in any direction. Unlike the 18-pounder, the 25-pounder used howitzer-type variable-charge ammunition; the 25-pounder was separate-loading. In British terminology, the 25-pounder was called "quick firing" because the cartridge case provided rapid loading compared with bag charges, was automatically released when the breech was opened.

The use of separate shell and cartridge allowed the charge to be changed for different ranges. For the Mk 1 Ordnance on an 18-pounder carriage there were three "charges", charges one and three, all of which could be used in the common cartridge design; the Mk 2 Ordnance on Mk 1 carriage added a "super" charge in a different cartridge. In 1943 a separately bagged "increment" charge was added; the introduction of the increment to super was only possible following the addition of the muzzle-brake in the previous year. Subsequently, another type of increment was introduced to be added to charges one and two to provide additional combinations for use in high angle fire. However, this fire required a dial sight adaptor, removal of the platform and some excavation of the ground. In common with all British guns of the period the indirect fire sight was "calibrating"; this meant. The sight compensated for the difference in the gun's muzzle velocities from standard; the gun was fitted with a direct-fire telescope for use with armour-piercing shot.

It used "one-man laying" in accordance with normal British practice. An important part of the gun was the ammunition trailer; the gun was hooked to it and the trailer hooked to the tractor for towing. The gun could be hooked directly to a tractor; the trailer provided the brakes. The trailer carried ammunition. Ammunition was carried in the gun tractor with the detachment and various gun stores; some stores, such as sights, were carried cased on the gun. Each section had a third tractor that towed two ammunition trailers; the gun detachment comprised the following: No 1 – detachment commander No 2 – operated the breech and rammed the shell No 3 – layer No 4 – loader No 5 – ammunition No 6 – ammunition the "coverer" – second in command and responsible for ammunition preparation and operating the fuze indicator The official "reduced detachment" was four men. Many different companies manufactured the guns and component parts in the UK. Vickers Armstrong in Scotswood, Baker Perkins in Peterborough and Weirs in Glasgow were some of the most significant.

The various Royal Ordnance factories produced most of the ordnance components. In Canada, Sorel Industries provided the ordnance for fitting to the Sexton. Australia built complete guns, choosing to weld the carriages rather than rivet, as was the practice in the UK and Canada. In all, over 13,000 were made worldwide; the 25-pounder fired "separate" or two-part ammunition – the projectile was loaded separately from the propelling charge in its cartridge case with its integral primer. For a quick-firing gun, the cartridge case provided obturation. There were two types of cartridge; the normal cartridge contained three cloth charge bags. White or blue bags would be removed from the cartridge to give "charge one" or "charge two", leaving all three bags in the cartridge case gave "charge three"; the cartridge case was closed at the top with a leathe