Aug 292010

Seems Jack Horkheimer of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium died Friday, age 72:

He ran a weekly five-minute TV show on Public Television to popularize naked-eye astronomy. He was a charismatic and certainly enthusiastic promotor of astronomy, and may have been an influence on my interest in astronomy.

From 1976 to 1997, the show was “Jack Horkheimer, Star Hustler.” In 1997, it was changed to “Jack Horkheimer, Star Gazer.” Certainly a lesser name, the “Star Gazer” name change came about with the rise of the internet… as people tried to search the net for the Star Hustler, they were directed to sites that were manifestly *not* about Jack Horkheimer. So, the name was changed to protect the innocent. Ah, well.

His final broadcast:

Some people hustle pool,
Some people hustle cars,
But have you ever heard about
The man who hustles stars?

 Posted by at 12:50 pm
Aug 292010

One cat in particular, at any rate: Fingers. I found an old spray bottle of “essense of catnip” that I never did anything with. I sprayed in on some scrap papr… neither Fingers nor Koshka had any use for it. But Raedthinn *kinda* seemed to like it. So, I did what any red-blooded, gun-totin’, nuclear-rocket-designin’ American would do: I sprayed some of in on the ribs of Fingers the cat. Apart from being alarmed at being sprayed, she didn’t have much reaction to it. But Raedthinn *loved* it, and spent several minutes licking it off Fingers’ fur.

This, of course, pleased Fingers to no end.



 Posted by at 1:21 am
Aug 292010

I scanned in the cover of my best copy of the October 1973 issue of “Analog” science fiction  magazine (art by Rick Sternbach) and tinkered with it. Got rid of the text, cleaned up scuffmarks and the like, and generally tried to improve the appearance of the art as much as possible. Given the low-rez printing and the small physical dimensions of Analog, there’s only so much that can be done. 

It’s a hell of a piece of art; I’d love to see a full-sized high-rez print of it. But I suspect the original art, once sent to Analog, either got tossed or lost. But you never know…


 Posted by at 1:16 am
Aug 272010

1) Currently in active work: finishing the 1/144 and 1/72 “Hammerhead” models for Fantastic Plastic. These were “printed” via stereolithography… this results in all the accuracy and symmetry to could possibly want, but it also means a really rough surface finish that takes a *lot* of work to clean up.

dsc_6909.jpg  dsc_6910.jpg  dsc_6911.jpg  dsc_6912.jpg  dsc_6913.jpg

2) Next on the schedule is physical finishing of the printed “X-15D” parts. This should be pretty easy compared to the Hammerheads, due to simpler geometry.

3) CAD modelling of new nose and aft-fuselage air inlets for a 1/144 conversion kit… converting the Hasegawa B-36 into the nuclear reactor-equipped NB-36H test aircraft. This is to be done for another “garage kit” company. An X-6 *may* follow that.

4,5,6) Competition among CAD modeling of Space Station 5, a large-scale X-15 project and an X-42 desktop display model, with physical finishing of 1/144 “Dragon” parts thrown in there somewhere as well..

 Posted by at 1:16 pm