Once again, I am bored. There is nothing to write about! I just found out that any chance of anybody paying me is a year away! So although I am free to write about all the local follies, I am currently loathe to do so. I think I'll wait until it becomes totally obvious, even to our lovable local media.
Now I'm working on these neato computer program- YADE. It has a wiki here. As is usual with these things, I have no idea what I am doing, but the program is compiling as I speak. It's something like a finite element program, but can work with discrete elements, such as loose spheres. I probably don't have enough computing power.
With such a program, you can have a stack of bricks, or pile of spheres, and do something to them, such as excavate a tunnel. Then you can watch the whole thing fall down, if you are dumb enough to drill a circular hole in high horizontal stresses! I am particularly interested in the 'Lattice Configuration', which is great for fracture propagation.
The lattice somewhat resembles a standard finite element model, but you can do weird things, like this.
They have modeled a piece of concrete with notches, and want to propagate a fracture.
This is precisely what I want to do with my little 'circular hole' project. As well, the program can model what happens when you cut out the toe of a slope.