Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Box

Our friends at BBC, the fun TV have got a new reality show here on the internet, and boy am I stoked! The "Box" is a 40' shipping container fitted with a GPS device so we can follow it around for 1 years time and see where it goes and what it takes with it.
Now the Box is red and has got BBS on it just like the icon in the picture. I'm not certain how wise this may turn out because when you click on the box icon, a little menu appears and tells you what's inside. For instance, the box came ashore in South Hampton on 9/8 and to Glasgow on the 10th where it sat empty until today. Now, it is filled with whiskey and will be heading out to Asia (most likely China or Japan) where Scotch is consumed in great quantities. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to get there and if pirates read the Internet and try to get the booze. This is the special report website as the box starts it's first journey. Kind of interesting that it is going all the way back to South Hampton to catch a ship when Glasgow is a fairly big port once famous for it's ship building and turning out fine engineering officers. (eg. Scottie on Star Trek) Of course the days of the triple expansion steam engine are long gone with today's container or "Box" Ships relying on giant diesel engines which run at low RPM but drive the huge ships through the ocean at speeds approaching 30 MPH. The fact that these boats are too large for the Panama Canal causes them to reach the East by traversing some risky waters where Pirates lurk in fast boats which can run up on the large container ship, toss a grapnel and climb up to the deck just like a monkey! Once there, they may take the crew by surprise and rob the ship of cash and cigarettes and if they can get a cargo manifest, possibly break into certain containers of value. So far, the pirates have not harmed too many people on large ships for fear of bringing heavy security into play. The problem exists that the largest merchant ships may not have very large crews, sometimes as few as 10 or 12 and they are loath to shoot it out with marauders preferring to set up guards with fire hoses at several points while passing through areas of known activity. Still, ships using the Red Sea to gain the Suez Canal must pass Somalia which is virtually lawless as well as some areas of the Indian Ocean where sea crime is rampant. All in all modern pirates are not nice and seem to have very bad manners when dealing with smaller boats often killing the people and dumping them overboard. Kind of like pirates of old actually, they just don't take big boats because they are very expensive to run; they buy fuel by the ton and talk about gallons per mile. So, it will be fun to see if the "box" gets where it's headed with all that grog. Now you might be asking yourself, "How does Texino know so much about ships?" Well, I was at one time part of the crew on a boat in New England that went to sea and caught lobsters alive alive o! Then I was a crew member on an actual Tall Ship. But aside from sailing and motor boating like everyone else, I have no idea why I know so much, maybe I went to sea some place else. Stephen Hawking says the fact that gravity is not a constant like electricity is suggests that there are other dimensions and times possibly in parallel or close by our own reality. Could be I escaped. Truth be told. I don't think I am very much like other people. I wish I was, but I'm just not. I don't have time to explain right now. Watch the box.

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