Apr 212018
 

APR Patrons contributing more than $10 per month were today sent a 1969 diagram of a preliminary design for what would become the AWACS plane… close, but with eight engines rather than four. This design was illustrated in color artwork from time to time.

And for APR Patrons at the $4 and above level, a diagram of the 777 and scans of a McDonnell-Douglas brochure on the “Med-Lite Family” of launch vehicle concepts have been uploaded to the 2018-04 APR Extras folder on Dropbox:

If you are interested in these and a great many other “extras” and monthly aerospace history rewards, please sign up for the APR Patreon. What else are you going to spend $4 a month on? Taxes?

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 Posted by at 8:50 am
Apr 192018
 

He’s a screaming leftist harpie, but every now and then he makes a valid point, such as here: stop trying to litigate things that happened in the past that broke rules that did not yet exist.

 

His timeframe seems to stretch back only to the 1980’s, but the principle applies no matter how far back you go. And thus a whole lot of the effort to tear down all memory, certainly all celebration, of the Dead White Males who created the civilization we currently live and prosper in is based on them violating social norms that only came about later.

He makes the point that everyone today tolerates things that in a quarter century society will have decided are intolerable This is undoubtedly true. But I wonder just how many of the future intolerables would be things that we used to not tolerate, now tolerate, and in the future will not tolerate again. Or the other way around. Consider: back in the day, people tolerated (heck, knew nothing else) “free range parenting.” Kid comes home from school, you give ’em supper them kick them out to go raise hell with the other brats until sundown. Starting in the 80’s, Stranger Danger made that sort of thing damn near extinct. But perhaps it will come back n the future. Future kids may someday see the current trend of kids being glued to screens as a weird blip in history. Kids may have *jobs* again. Schools will have shooting clubs. Eugenics (a popular thing in the US until the National Socialists crapped all over the concept) may become quite the trend, doubtless aided by genetic engineering. “Progress” isn’t always a line; sometimes it’s a circle.

Heck, maybe big hair, shoulder pads and leg warmers will make a comeback.

 

 Posted by at 11:51 pm
Apr 192018
 

You know how it’s a popular joke to point to some dumb kid doing something monumentally stupid and then say something along the lines of “ladies and gentlemen, the leaders of the future.” Well, guess what: the leaders of the present aren’t that fargin’ impressive either.

D.C. lawmaker who said Jews control the weather visits Holocaust Museum but leaves early

The photo, taken in 1935, depicts a woman in a dark dress shuffling down a street in Norden, Germany. A large sign hangs from her neck: “I am a German girl and allowed myself to be defiled by a Jew.” She is surrounded by Nazi stormtroopers.

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) studied the image. “Are they protecting her?”

Lynn Williams, an expert on educational programs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and White’s tour guide for the day, stared at the photo.

“No,” she said. “They’re marching her through.”

“Marching through is protecting,” White said.

I… but…

And what’s better: there’s even more stupid on display in that story, and not all of it is the council members. It sounds like he hired out of the shallow end of the pool for his staff, of which he has a surprising number.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Apr 192018
 

For the APR Patreon I try to acquire as much interesting aerospace documentation as I can, and these items fall into two categories:

  1. Stuff that I can afford. This stuff winds up in the APR Patreon catalog of potential monthly rewards for patrons.
  2. Stuff I can’t hope to afford.

There’s a lot of the latter category of stuff. Sometimes it’s because the item has a ridiculously high Buy It Now price or starting bid, or because the item will be popular among bidders, or because it’s *really* good/big and thus worth every penny. But unaffordable is unaffordable.

However, there is an option for “stuff I can’t afford:” crowdfunding. I’ve done this a number of times with considerable success, and I’ve just done so again, winning a trio of General Dynamics documents describing a 1965 program to develop a logistics system for extending the Apollo lunar exploration program:

This set of documents was just much too expensive for an individual (well, I’m sure Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk wouldn’t have flinched), but with a group of like-mined funders it came in at $30 per person. So what happens now:

1: I wait for it to show up in the mail.

2: I make a complete set of scans in 300 DPI grayscale (and color, where appropriate) and convert to PDFs

3: I make the scans and PDFs available to funders, generally via Dropbox

4: I find an appropriate archive for the documents, and then donate the originals to them.

5: And that’s it. The files are shared with the funders, but do not appear on future APR Patreon catalogs or as purchasable, downloadable “Diagrams and Documents.” What the funders choose to do with their scans & PDFs is up to them.

APR Patrons get alerted to each of these occasional “crowdfunding opportunities.” So if you’d like to participate, please considered signing up for the APR Patreon.

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 Posted by at 12:11 pm
Apr 142018
 

Refugees set for NHS payout because midwives didn’t tell them to feed baby

This is *spectacular.* So some Sri Lankans moved to Britain and had themselves a kid, but did not effectively learn the language. The kid was born with cerebral palsy. Because the parents didn’t speak adequate English, the medics who attended the birth could not explain to the parents that, you know, you need to feed the kid from time to time, and now some nine years later the kid is in bad shape in part because the parents didn’t adequately feed the kid. This is, of course, the fault of the medics who, and I’m quoting here, “failed to overcome the language barrier, directly resulting in the child suffering catastrophic brain injuries.” And now the British taxpayers are on the hook for some millions of lawsuit lotto that the family has won.

Because it’s every medical practitioners job to be proficient in every language on the planet, so long as that medical practitioner is in a western country.

Gah.

If you are a parent, isn’t it kinda *your* duty to see to it that your kids are properly taken care of?

Anyway, there was also this on the side of that page:

Two in five Brits believe multiculturalism has failed

Commissioned by anti-fascist group Hope Not Hate, the Yougov poll of 5,200 people also found that 51% of people believe immigration is putting pressure on schools and hospitals.

Huh. Wonder why.

The article says that 40% of respondents agreed with a speech given in 1968 by some guy named Enoch Powell, who was a politician of some kind. In case you are an American and don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of all things British, here’s the speech:

In looking that up, I came across the following. It’s apparently a speech in a British TV crime drama, made by the villain of the piece. And it is a speech, if you read the YouTube comments, that speaks to just a whole lot of people. That’s the problem with forced multiculturalism: the natives didn’t ask for it. They weren’t consulted. And when they complain, they are cast as villains for wanting to keep things they way they have known them to be. And once you decide that someone is a villain for wanting to live in their own homes with their own cultures, they will sooner or later no longer give a damn about whether or not you see them as a villain. You can call someone a racist or a fascist or a Nazi or a misogynist or a sexist or a what-the-hell-ever only just so many times before the nasty word loses its sting and becomes meaningless. And when you call them that bad word for being opposed to something they can *see* as being *actually* bad… you will make them decide that that bad word isn’t something to run from, but is instead their natural ally. So good job, “progressives,” you’ve made the rise of fascism and nationalism and actual racism pretty much inevitable.

 

 

 

 Posted by at 10:22 pm
Apr 132018
 

I hate to be “that  guy,” but Millenials… get it together, kids. You’re looking bad.

Holocaust Knowledge and Awareness Study

41% of Millennials believe that fewer than 2 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust.

22% of Millennials haven’t heard of the Holocaust or unsure if they have

66% of Millenials don’t even know that Auschwitz was a death camp.

Sadly, I can’t say that the rest of the public is vastly better off, but the Millennials are distinctly worse. And then there’s this:

People should be allowed to use Nazi slogans or symbols: 15%

This is perhaps the worst example of ignorance of the bunch. Sure, the Nazis were scumbags and if you’re proudly waving a swastika because you think Hitler was Da Bomb, you’re a dumbass. But this is America, gottverdammt, and you’re allowed to wave around any Blödmann symbols you like… swastika, hammer & sickle, Little Red Book, Planned Parenthood logo, Confederate flag, what-the-frak-ever. This survey indicates that 85% of respondents have no idea what the 1st Amendment, not to mention common sense, is actually about.

But wait! There’s more!

Just 66% of millennials firmly believe that the earth is round

Ugh.

It’s easy to blame this level of Earth-shattering dumbth on the Millennials. But let’s face it: kids know what they’re taught. We olds of the world have clearly failed them in the teaching department. Soon these ill-educated younglings will be voting. Imagine the world they’ll create, one based on “feelings” and ignorance. Gah.

 

 Posted by at 1:29 am
Apr 112018
 

Some old-school animation showing the AH-56 as a recon and targeting vehicle being used in Someplace Much Like Viet Nam. If you’re at all like me, you’ll watch this and think, “I don’t recall this episode of Jonny Quest.”

 

 Posted by at 2:11 pm
Apr 062018
 

As shown in the autoplaying video news story in the link below, the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum has built a full scale replica of the “hotel room” from the end of “2001.”

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/smithsonian-exhibit-explores-2001-a-space-odyssey/

And…

https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/2001-space-odyssey-immersive-art-exhibit

It’s an interesting thing to be sure. But for *me,* they could have chosen other sets that would have been more interesting and compelling. Of course, there are problems with most.

The Aries 1b passenger compartment would be easy. Nice and flat. The Space Station V habitat area would be possible but the built-in curvature of the floor would make it challenging, as well as potentially enormous. The Clavius Base conference room? Easy, but boring. The TMA-1 dig site? Oh, my, giggitty yes, but challenging.

Pod bay? Cool, but cluttered. Centrifuge? Terribly expensive and difficult to actually do anything with… you couldn’t really put people in it, it would not be compelling from the outside; the best you could do is split it in half and have people walk between the to halves as they rotate. Discovery bridge or moonbus interior? Too small.

There is one set that I’ve wanted to build since I was a kid during the 1970’s: the passenger compartment of the Orion III spaceplane. Why? Dunno, shut up. This would be a relatively easy set to construct.But here’s the thing; don’t construct it inside some Smithsonian museum building. Built it – or perhaps several, if they’ll fit – inside a widebody jetliner. There are two possible things you could do with this set:

  1. Use it as an actual jetliner interior for long distance (transoceanic) flight. Notice how it seems like it might actually be comfortable?
  2. Say, “alright, let’s shoot for awesome” and send that jetliner onto vomit comet parabolic trajectories. for thirty seconds at a time, the passengers could ride in the replica of a spaceplane and actually *feel* like they were in a  spaceplane.

Silly? Perhaps. Expensive? Oh, you betcha. More compelling than a strange hotel room? Hell yes.

Look what the future used to have! Spaceplanes! Commercial space travel! Atomic-powered pens! LEGROOM!

 Posted by at 4:56 pm
Apr 032018
 

“2001: A Space Odyssey” premiered fifty years ago yesterday. Who could’ve imagined at the time that the projections of a world of giant rotating space stations, space tourism, lunar colonies and manned missions to the outer solar system would have fallen so far short… not only for the year 2001, but 2018?

I’d planned on yammering forth rather more about this, both extolling the virtues of the movie and bemoaning the sad (yet recently somewhat hopeful) reality, but I hadn’t planned on my internet computer going belly up right when it did. At the moment I’m tapping away on the netbook that the now-kaput netbook replaced, and, man, is this this thing archaic. Even so, good thing I didn’t dispose of it but kept it in storage as a backup. Took this antique half an hour to decide to boot up all the way, though. Gettin’ old sucks.

In lieu of the long stream of consciousness I doubtless would have produced, I invite y’all to revist the days of yore, back in the halcyon days of 2013, when I wrote a number of blog posts describing my concept for an alternate history that could have led from the real world of April 2, 1968. The way the blog spits things out is somewhat backwards for this purpose, with more recent posts at the top rather than the bottom (useful for daily reading, a little disjointed for reading old stuff), but start here at the bottom:

http://up-ship.com/blog/?s=1968+to+2001&searchsubmit&paged=2

And continue here:

http://up-ship.com/blog/?s=1968+to+2001&searchsubmit=

 Posted by at 5:34 pm