Nov 272015

Just under the wire, rewards for November have been made available to APR patrons. Three documents and one large-format diagram, and one all-new CAD diagram, have been posted:

  1. NASA diagram (on two sheets) of a NERVA nuclear rocket engine display model, presenting the configuration with detail and clarity
  2. An article on a orbiting nuclear power station
  3. A full-color brochure (via photographs) on the Convair Model 36, their entry for what became the B-36
  4. A North American Aviation presentation on delta wings for the X-15, presenting a few different configurations
  5. An all-new layout CAD diagram of the Bernal Sphere space colony concept

If you’d like to help out and gain access to these and past and future rewards, please check out the APR Patreon.


2015-11 ad

 Posted by at 5:02 am
Nov 262015

See, now *this* is art (as opposed to this, which is simply insipid).

The Crusades and Lovecraft’s Monsters

This is a series of illustrations that imitates the style of old medieval paintings and adds a macabre flavour by incorporating some of H.P. Lovecraft’s famous monsters. The text is mostly medieval Middle High German.

More and embiggened images at the link.


 Posted by at 9:35 pm
Nov 262015

A 115-year-old smokestack in Pell City, Alabama, laughed off two attempts to bring it down with explosives, so a construction worker went at it with an excavator. So how’d that work out? Let’s watch:


And because why not, here’s the ad for the product that popped up before the smokestack video. It’s an awesomely low-brow product to help you extrude your supper called “Squatty Potty.” Does it work? I have no idea. Is the commercial awful? You betcha. Did it make me laugh? You betcha.  Is it available from Amazon and am I going to link to it on the off chance someone wants to buy one from said link and I’ll receive a pittance as a result? You betcha.


Squatty Potty® Toilet Stool, 7 Inch- The Original – Made in U.S.A.


 Posted by at 9:22 pm
Nov 262015

Amazon currently is running a “30% off any one book up to $10” special, if you type in “HOLIDAY30” in the “Gift cards & promotional codes” section during checkout. The small print is HERE. Why do I bring it up? Because Federally Mandated Commercial Over-Shopping Holiday is only a month away… and if you do your  shopping for knickknacks and whatnot starting with the Amazon search box you should see at the upper right of this very page, a small, tiny percentage will be kicked back my way. So wander over yonder to buy a couple XPlayBoxStations for the horrible ingrate brat children your family is plague with, and when you’re done pick up a book for yourself. Below are a few options that look like they might be good (don’t have ’em myself yet).



American Secret Projects: Fighters, Bombers, and Attack Aircraft, 1937-1945

N-1: For the Moon and Mars A Guide to the Soviet Superbooster (English and Russian Edition)

The 2001 File: Harry Lange and the Design of the Landmark Science Fiction Film

An Untaken Road: Strategy, Technology, and the Hidden History of America’s Mobile ICBMs (Transforming War)

 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Nov 252015

Now you, too, can have a microcircuit computer for less than thirty-five grand!


An ad from a December, 1965, issue of Missiles & Rockets magazine.

 Posted by at 12:53 pm
Nov 242015

Get ready to laugh.

Man Media Touted As Victim of Islamophobia Reportedly Arrested in Turkey For Joining ISIS


Teenage Islamist ‘poster girl’ who fled Austria to join ISIS ‘is beaten to death by the terror group after trying to escape from Syria’

Haw! That’s some funny, funny stuff right there, I don’t care who you are.

Heh. Dumb people, amiright?

 Posted by at 11:03 pm
Nov 242015

The first episode of The Expanse is now available for viewing on YouTube. It’ll premiere on the Syfy channel on December 14. I haven’t watched it yet… I just downloaded it (half a gigabyte) but I’ve got to get back to work now.

UPDATE: I watched it, and was glad I did.  It’s a beautiful effort; it starts with a woman floating in zero-g, with her hair floating around her. The hair was likely CGI, but it seemed pretty effectively done. People moving around in zero-g was mostly accomplished with the traditional “magnetic boots;” this was likely done for budgetary reasons, but it was still done well… the walking was done to look somewhat difficult and slow, as it really would be. The story seemed to be pretty close to the book. The visuals were generally spectacular.

 Posted by at 2:47 pm
Nov 242015

Blue Origin seems to have flown their New Shepard craft yesterday… booster rocket and capsule. The video shows the launch, a CGI version of the separation, video of the capsule landing and video of the booster landing. The booster landing video, especially the view at 2:39, is just about the sportiest ride imaginable that doesn’t end with an Incident Review Board.

In some ways this is similar to the SpaceX Falcon 9 + Dragon capsule. Important difference is the much lower performance of Blue origins system… straight up into space, but no attempt at orbital flight (and nowhere near capable of it). But with a second stage… who knows.

 Posted by at 2:38 pm