Against the Tide: An Autobiographical Account of a by L.C Woods

By L.C Woods

In opposed to the Tide: An Autobiographical Account of a pro Outsider, Leslie Woods relates the interesting tale of his existence from fisherman's son in New Zealand to go of the Mathematical Institute on the collage of Oxford. After beginning at a exchange tuition, he received a scholarship to a school, then joined the RNZAF, and later turned a fighter pilot within the Pacific. Woods then gained a Rhodes scholarship to Merton collage in Oxford after WWII. Following numerous years of analysis in aerodynamics, he grew to become a professor of engineering on the college of latest South Wales. He additionally had a fellowship with Oxford's Balliol university and had a consultancy at Culham Laboratory the place he researched the idea of magnetically restricted sizzling plasmas. In 1970, Woods turned a professor of plasma idea but grew to become dissatisfied with the fusion power venture, which he believes survived on exaggerated claims of progress.Besides recounting his historical past, Woods explains why magnetic fusion has did not prevail and descriptions the philosophy of technological know-how to which he subscribes. He writes frankly approximately either his successes and screw ups and finishes with an account of his taking on gliding on the age of seventy four.

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Extra info for Against the Tide: An Autobiographical Account of a Professional Outsider

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Two months before his death at the end of 1995, he wrote me a brave letter, warning me that the end of his life was near—his letter ended with: Doesn’t Dr Johnson say somewhere that there is nothing like the prospect of death [to] extraordinarily sharpen the focus of one’s mind? As in so many other respects he is wrong, I’m more woollyheaded, digressive, garrulous, and yet in some way focussed, than ever. In my reply I wrote about our friendship and what it had meant to me, adding how much I had enjoyed his books over the years and how the next time I took one from my shelf, I would spend a long time thinking about him and our friendship.

I managed this now and again and, if caught, would have to pay for the damage. The second problem was that if the paper was too tightly rolled, the action of bending it could shear it into two separate pieces. I would then have no choice but to deliver both pieces, naturally avoiding houses where this had happened before. However when the agent went to the houses to collect the Star money, complaints were sometimes made. The wage was five shillings a week, enough to enable me to buy a new bicycle on hire purchase and to go to the cinema once a week.

Of course—you have brought great distinction to the school,’ he replied. I should have asked him to translate the school motto once more, but I was awash with self-congratulation. It didn’t last long. My father was mildly pleased. ‘It will help you to get a better job,’ he said. ‘I don’t need a job, I shall be at University,’ I answered. ‘So how will you pay your board? Your scholarship only covers fees and books and I cannot afford to support you any longer,’ was his surprising reply. Were we going round in circles?

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