A diagram showing the thermal radiators planned for one version of the SP-100 space nuclear power reactor.

sp-100 radiators

A while back I sold limited editions of some 11X17 drawing-package booklets (of the BoMi, BWB, X-20 Dyna Soar and nuclear pulse propelled starship concepts). Based on comments that have come in from a few of the buyers (see: http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=23871), they seem to have been well received. While these particular books are now done, it got me thinking about a few possible future works:

1) “A Guide To American Nuclear Explosive Devices.” Finally, an idea for what to do with the diagrams of the nuclear bombs I’ve created (see HERE). The book would feature full-page scale diagrams of every American nuclear bomb (including RV’s) that I can reliably create. The following page would contain all the particulars know for the bomb… weight, yield, dates in service, that sort of thing. Plus, a standard illustration/graph/chart showing the damage effects for ground bursts and air bursts, probably at a common altitude.

2) “A Guide to the Strategic Defense Initiative.” This would would be more like sci-fi. By assuming the trope of an alternate history, I can present diagrams of things that I cannot, in reality, present *reliably* *accurate* diagrams of. Things such as the Brilliant Pebbles, the Saggitar orbital railgun, the Zenith Star test laser, the larger planned operational space-based laser, the larger still “Phaser” phased array laser, neutral particle beam weapons, etc. have the problem of only being known from concept art and diagrams of disappointing quality, so my own diagrams would be highly speculative. But in a fictional setting… shrug. Also included would be SDI launch systems such as the ZSLS, the McD “Barbarian,” Shuttle-C and the General Dynamics (“Millenium Express”), McDonnell Douglas (“Delta Clipper”) and Rockwell (“Platypus”) SSTO concepts from 1991. These last three I can at least present quite reliable diagrams of.

These would each be some ways down the line. I *really* need to finish up the Space Station V book first; the nukes books needs one to two research trips, and the SDI book needs a whole lot of drafting, including 3D modeling.

So there I was, watching an episode of the FX series “The Americans,” when what comes on-screen but a diagram of the Brilliant Pebbles space-based anti-missile interceptor:

brilliant pebbles

For those unaware, “The Americans” is a spy drama set in 1981, with a pair of Soviet spies pretending to be an American married couple trying to dig up information on the Strategic Defense Initiative. In one episode, a report comes into their hands in the form of microfilm; one page is shown as if viewed through a little microscope, showing the BP interceptor and “life jacket.” Above is a photo I took of the image, direct from a TV screen. I don’t recall having seen this particular diagram before; if anyone knows the source, I’d be interested.

“The Americans” has a number of anachronisms. First, SDI was not proposed by Reagan until 1983. Second, Brilliant Pebbles wasn’t designed until 1986. Third, the “Illegals” program the show is based on apparently didn’t begin until the 1990′s, *after* the fall of the Soviet Union. Still, it’s interesting to see such things on-screen. I have provided a few such historical tidbits to a few productions, though so far nothing I’ve provided has been shown even half as clear as this (still to come: two large format SST diagrams that may appear in a pilot episode). Much earlier in the season there was a briefly-glimpsed “stolen document” on space-based nuclear pumped X-Ray lasers which caused me to perk up and wonder where they got it… until I noticed that the illustration on the cover of the report was of Skylab. It was something cooked up by the art department, it seems. Good enough for TV work, I suppose, seeing as how it was on screen for maybe one second, and, let’s face it, most people wouldn’t recognize a diagram of Skylab if they had an hour to examine it.

Kids react to the Walkman, the premiere portable music technology of *my* day…

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

‘People were polite, parents would shake my hand’: Canadian college blogger who wore a hijab for 18 days to reveal how racist her community is – finds people are actually NICER to her

Well, right off the bat, this is silly for the simple reason that wearing Muslim garb is not restricted to any particular race.

But it gets dumber:

‘It can be that someone actually does harbour [sic] racist tendencies but doesn’t want to look racist to others so they overcompensate in that way,’ she says.

She also says that it could stem from people who might think they have a bias but are trying to suppress it by being overly accommodating to people of other races or religions.

So: by being nice, you’re just proving that you are a racist (against the Muslim race, it would seem). I believe it’s fair to say that someone who was rude, mean or otherwise unfriendly to her would also be declared racist. So, no matter what the actual results were going to be, the conclusion was always going to be that “people are racists.”

Of course, Fark.com has a number of good comments on this story, the first being:

Sure they were nicer. They were afraid she’d blow up the place.


Nevada Cattle Rancher Wins ‘Range War’ With Feds

The Feds seem to be backing off, without actually killing anybody. Of course, they may be backing off just long enough for the militia-types to disperse., then they’l go back in and whack this fellers cows.

Sadly… not NASA.

Putin eyes up cosmonaut uniform as his deputy premier sets out plans to colonise space and declares ‘We are coming to the Moon FOREVER’

Accordign to the Daily Mail (yeah, I know…) Putin has a 26-year plan for lunar bases and manned missions to Mars and asteroids. Whether they’ll have the money for it after they get done gobbling up Ukraine and Poland and Finland and Chicago and anywhere else that has “ethnic Russians” is a whole other question.

It seems the FAA has set up a no-fly zone over the “Bundy Ranch:”


From what I can tell, both sides here are asshats. But just like Waco, the FedGuv seems to be intentionally trying to turn a simply-resolved issue into an Example.


Doctors implant lab-grown vagina

It’s not a silly story… the medical conditions involved are real and deserving of this sort of attention. So… huzzah.

Lassa virus was unwanted passenger on N.Y.-Mpls. flight

Gee, what to do with someone obviously very ill? Why… put them on a commercial jetliner, of course!

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