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Tweaks implemented

I have made some tweaks to Dragons Online! webblog to improve the speed and security of the site. Every effort have been taken to ensure the site is not affected negatively. While I have done some testing, I might not have been able to cover every areas. Please let me know if any part of the website is not working like it should be. Thanks.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Today is Christmas Day! On behalf of everyone at Dragon Scout Group, I would like to wish everybody a merry christmas and a happy new year!

Enjoy the christmas song by the chipmunks below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQWZFvG745E

Hour Glass Tower

Not sure how to go about building a hour glass tower for your pioneering project? Take this as a reference and modify according to your own design!

The Hour Glass

The tower is constructed from two large pyramids interlocked together. It must be built on its side then raised vertically with the aid of an additional tripod of spars. Care must be taken to ensure that all the equipment used is in excellent condition and that the lashings are really tight. We recommend that you make a model from garden canes first as this will help you to see where things are meant to go and how the tower fits together – everything looks very different when lying on its side!

Method

Using 3 x 3.6m spars and a figure of 8 lashing, build a tripod.

Using square lashings, fix 3 x 2.5m spars across the butt ends. (a) This is the base unit – lay it on its side.

Prepare a second tripod with 3 more 3.5m long spars.

Feed one leg of the tripod through the apex of the base unit. Complete the top unit by lashing 3 x 2.5m spars close to the butt ends – this will form the handrail.

(b) Once the frames have been positioned correctly, lash the main spars together using square lashings. Note: although the spars cross at an acute angle, you must use a square lashing.

Add additional strength by lashing the apex of each tripod to the opposite main spars using a round turn and two half hitches.

(c) Build a tripod using the remaining long spars and hang the pulley to its apex. Position this about 10m from the tower. Fix the long ropes to the apex of the base unit and feed the upper one through the pulley – the other two ropes are used to keep the tower steady as it is raised.

Once the tower is upright, check that the top is level. Lower it again and make any necessary adjustments.

While the tower is horizontal, fit the platform by lashing the 3 x 2m spars about 1m below the handrail and lashing the light spars across them.

Attach the rope ladder to the platform and the lower horizontal spar.

Attach guy ropes to the main spars above the hand rail.

Raise the tower.

Click here for the full article at Pioneering Made Easy

Theme updated

Did a quick update for the theme to be fully compatible with the current version of WordPress. Let me know if anything is not right.

Safety Codes

These are some good to know stuff. Do note that not all content are relevant in Singapore.

There are a variety of safety codes issued by various bodies that would prove most useful to all members of the Scouting Movement.

  • Countryside Code
  • Firework Code
  • Railway Safety
  • Passenger Safety
  • Cycling Safety
  • Pedestrian Safety

Click here for the full article at Scouting Resources

Website was down. Resolved and upgraded.

The site was down last night until today as the site was moved to a new and better server (host was not changed). Sorry for not pre-advising as it was sudden and I did not have advance notification either. The server was changed to new hardware that is more energy efficient (about 50% less now) but more powerful (4 times) at the same time. It was an effort by the host to cut down their power utilization by upgrading all their servers by batches, so I volunteered to go first in a bid to do something for the environment.

I also took the chance to upgrade our WordPress to the latest version that was released on 10 Dec 2008.

Everything should be fine now. If not, please drop a comment or PM or email me.

Edit on 14 Dec 2008: See article from webhost on improving energy efficient servers. See Let’s Save Our Environment Harder.

Hari Raya Haji

Today is Hari Raya Haji. Would like to take this chance to wish all muslim scouts, family, friends and vistors a happy Hari Raya Haji.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

Hari Raya Haji (or also known as Festival of Sacrifice) is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah intervened: instead Allah provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal, as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah. The meat is then shared out with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community (Islam names Ishmael as the son who was to be sacrificed, whereas the Judeo-Christian name Isaac).

Also, due to work, I realised I had forgotten to wish our Indian scouts and friends in celebrating their Deepavali on the 27th of October 2008. I apologies for that.

The A-Z of Knots

Knots are a fundamental part of scouting skills. This site has a huge library of various knots and how to tie them most mostly are not comprehensive enough in my opinion. See and decide for yourself!

An illustrated A-Z walkthrough of some of the most common (and not so common) knots. Each knot has a short description and (almost) every one has an illustration demonstrating the knot.

Blood Knot

A multiple Overhand Knot tied in the end of a heaving line. It derives its name from its use in a ropes end which was used as a weapon or for inflicting punishment, when it would often ‘draw blood’. This knot was used by the Incas of Peru in ‘Quipus’ or knot records.

Sheepshank

A knot tied in the bight for shortening a rope or taking up the slack, without cutting it. It can also be used to protect a weak, damaged or frayed section of the rope. See also Tom Fool Knot.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation license, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation

Click here for the full article at Scouting Resources

Aerial Runway

Found a thorough document on aerial runway at Pioneering Made Easy (although document is hosted at ScoutBase UK). Take a look at it before your next aerial runway pioneering project.

Aerial runways are potentially dangerous and remain so, even when all reasonable precautions, both in their construction and use, have been taken. Indeed, without some apparent element of hazard, much of their appeal and training value would be lost. The aim should be, therefore, to eliminate all avoidable risk and thereafter to exercise the highest degree of responsibility in the use of the aerial runway without destroying the challenge and excitement generated by the activity.

Click here for the full article at ScoutBase UK (PDF)

Camping Platform

I remembered during my Venture days, we wanted to build an elevated camping site during Group Camp. Due to the “massive” idea plus the lack of time, we shelved that idea. Now as I was surfing this site called Pioneering Made Easy, I realised we were not the only crazy people thinking of this idea. In fact, they have conceptualized a down-sized version of our initial idea.

Camping Platform

In the 1970s there were a large number of Groups taking up a challenge by John Sweet to build multi-storey camping platforms. This is a basic design which could be adapted and extended to suit the available materials.

Equipment

  • 17 x 6m (18ft) spars
  • 9 x 4m (12ft) spars
  • 2 x 3m (10ft) spars
  • 10 x 2.5m (8ft) spars
  • 2 x 2m (6ft) spars
  • 10 x 1.2m (4ft) spars
  • 2 x 1m stakes
  • 4 long ropes for guys
  • 51 lashing lengths
  • 4 tent pegs
  • mallet

Click here for the full article at Pioneering Made Easy

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