Radar and mariners – a long relationship

The development of modern radar started in 1886, when German physicist Heinrich Hertz showed that radio waves could be reflected from solid objects. In 1904, another German, Huelsmeyer, was the first to build a simple ship detection device, successfully detecting a ship in dense fog. In the pre-war period (the 1930s), many nations were working on radar devices. A major advance occurred once systems were developed that allowed short ‘pulses’ of radio energy to be generated, allowing the range of the object to be determined by timing the pulses.

Napoleon’s Winter

What would New Zealand’s history be like without the First and Second World Wars? Blame the terrible Russian winter and Napoleon’s folly according to historian Adam Zamoyski in his riveting book 1812 Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow. The losses suffered in the invasion, particularly to his cavalry, ensured Napoleon’s downfall the following summer. That led to an aggressive Germany unified under a militaristic Prussia while in Russia, the Tsar came to believe he was God’s instrument on Earth.

Rugby Weather: Fog

Rugby and fog do not go well together. Fortunately, in the days when rugby was played in the afternoon, they did not meet up much, except for the occasional test in Scotland when the All Blacks disappeared into the “gloom” as they scampered in a late try.

However, the introduction of night-time rugby gave fog a chance to get on the field for some game time. Especially in the United Kingdom, where evening games sometimes have to be cancelled when fog turns up.

Rugby Weather: Snow and the Lions

The first test between the All Blacks and the Lions in 1930 was played at Dunedin’s Carisbrook Park just after a snowstorm. Rain started in the morning then turned to snow during the curtain raiser. It became almost impossible to make out the players and some of the crowd went home while others sheltered under blankets and umbrellas.