Dec 312009

So, I left some Diet Cherry Pepsi in the garage. As tends to happen in winter, the garage got cold. Damn cold. Cold enough to freeze soda. And since ice is lower density than liquid water, that means the frozen pop took up more space, pushing against the walls of the can. Additionally, it compressed the gas in the can. The end result is high pressure, high enough to burst the can.

This does not surprise me. That the pressure was high enough to blow the end off the can, in the process not only blowing the end of the can through the cardboard box, but also projecting the can itself through the other side of the cardboard box, shooting it across the garage leaving a trail of chunky frozen soda in its wake (and sprayed all over), took me a bit by surprise.

pop1.jpg pop2.jpg

 Posted by at 8:04 pm
Dec 312009

When Lockheed was designing what would become the C-141 “Starlifter,” they started with their previous success, the C-130 “Hercules” and expanded it. Stretched the fuselage, swept the wings, added turbojets. Obviously it turned out not to be as simple as that, and the C-141 had almost nothing of the C-130 in it… but in these drawings of the GL-207-45 (submitted for System 476L)  from 1960, you can still see a hint of Herc.




 Posted by at 5:22 pm
Dec 312009

One of the seemingly odder propulsion systems is the cyclogyro (see Wikipedia article). While an interesting concept, it’s mechanically complex, fragile and a power-hog. Still, people continue to design aircraft around the concept to this day. The general features of a cyclogyro vehicle are the ability to fly forwards, backwards or straight up with equal ease, and to do so fairly slowly.
One concept that differed from that was produced at the Air Material Command at Wright Field in Dayton Ohio, and reported on in May of 1946. This was for a high speed VTOL fighter using the same engine and armament as the XP-77. Performance was calculated as follows:

Max speed at sea level: 340 mph

Max speed at 27,000 feet: 428 mph

Max rate of climb, sea level: 2900 ft/min

Max rate of climb, 27,000 feet: 2000 ft/min

Gross weight: 3900 pounds

Interestingly, the two pieces of artwork that illustrate the concept seem to have been created by Alex Tremulis, an industrial designer who worked at the AMC at Wright Field during WWII. After WWII he went on to design the 1948 Tucker sedan automobile.



 Posted by at 11:26 am
Dec 302009

Eleventh in the series of reconstructed drawings from Paul Suhler’s book “From RAINBOW to GUSTO.” This is the Cherub variant as drawn by Henry Combs. This is Figure 62(b). This particular drawing has a Source Grade of four:


“RAINBOW to GUSTO” is available from (for $39.95) and direct from the AIAA ($29.95 for AIAA members).

To download the high-rez version of the Cherub variant drawing, simply click THIS LINK. You will be prompted for a username and a password. For the Cherub variant drawing, use these:

Username: the FIRST word in the body of the text on page 112

Password: the FIRST word in the body of the text on page 113

(Remember: Case Sensitive!)

Up next: Figure 62, A-3 variant

 Posted by at 5:40 pm
Dec 292009

      Lassi says his roommate explained to police that he was having a diabetic seizure. Lassi “was not alert and could not move his body.”

     When the EMTs asked the cops to help them move Lassi from where he was lying on the floor, Lassi says, one of his “arms flailed during his diabetes-induced seizure, striking one of the LaGrange and Brookfield defendants. At no time did Mr. Lassi intentionally strike or offensively touch any of the LaGrange or Brookfield defendants.”
     Lassi says LaGrange Park Officer Darren Pedota responded by Tasering him 11 times, for nearly a minute, as he lay helpless.

Jeez, this is what passes for bedside manner?


 Posted by at 11:36 pm
Dec 272009

First Case of Highly Drug-Resistant TB Found in US

Today, all the leading killer infectious diseases on the planet – TB, malaria and HIV among them – are mutating at an alarming rate, hitchhiking their way in and out of countries. The reason: Overuse and misuse of the very drugs that were supposed to save us.

Two things:

1: If you are coughing up blood… stay the hell away from me.

2: If you believe that evolution is “just a theory,” stay the hell away from me

Both are categories of people who could spread a constantly evolving, deadly plague.

 Posted by at 9:21 pm
Dec 272009

Notice that immediately after the attempted airliner bombing from two days back, Obama actually came out and *called* it terrorism. He, or his minions, also called for the new passenger restrictions designed to increase airliner passenger misery with no recognizable increase in safety. So, howsabout this: Obama is using this as a way to crush the airlines as a prelude for government takeover. Drive them into financial distress by both increasing fear and making flying such a misery that people simply don’t fly. Then nationalize them.  After all… you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.

 Posted by at 5:16 pm