Nov 302012

Some information is starting to emerge about the Lockheed “Cuda” missile previously discussed. “The Aviationist” has a brief article describing this as a radar guided hit-to-kill missile with no warhead… it destroys the target by actually whacking into it. While this is just dandy for taking out warheads, missiles and perhaps even fighters, it would seem minimally useful for taking out large aircraft such as transports of bombers. Sure, having something twice the size of a man ram into your plane at Mach 2 is sure going to mess up the paint job and you might need some Bondo to patch up the hole, it probably wouldn’t be as effective as a few pounds of C-4 and a bunch of nails.

The illustration shows a missile laid out much like the Harpoon anti-ship missile, but clearly meant for higher speed. The most interest aspect of the design is the cylindrical region near the nose, covered with a multitude of dots. What is this? My guess would be that this might be a large number of small solid rocket divert motors designed to help pitch the missile hard over in order to nail incoming jinking missiles head-on.

 Posted by at 9:22 pm
Nov 272012

Some images posted on the San Diego Air & Space Museum Flickr account are a bit of a mystery. They are *probably* all General Dynamics/Convair images, though that ‘s not certain.

First: Some sort of bus-borne interceptors? Space-based anti-satellite systems?

Second: Some sorta…. somethings. Space based weapons seems likely, but which is the business end? Are these nuclear-pumped X-Ray lasers in that picosecond before they’re blown to bits, shooting at something off to the lower left, with the upper-right satellite being the radar guidance system for the squadron? Are they more conventional interceptors with a single small and rather unusual thruster in a mysteriously long tail, aimed at the upper-right satellite? Phased plasma rifles in the 40-watt range?

Third: Probably a supersonic bomber (perhaps a B-70 competitor). But maybe an aerospaceplane.

 Posted by at 6:32 pm
Nov 262012

A 1968 PR video of what flight in 1975 would look like. In virtually every aspect, Braniff got it wrong. *Real* wrong. In fact, most of what they promised 44 years ago is still futuristic today… or, more probably, ain’t-never-gonna-happen. For instance: the fashions. Helmets? Where did that get that dress, it’s awful, and those shoes and that coat, jeeeeez!

[youtube KZcCpH-G3os]

Much of it looks like bad sci-fi from the 1930’s through the 1950’s, with robotic everythings, space-consuming extendable and self-moving furniture and pedestals, lots of plexiglass and yards of legroom. And while a few minor details have come about, they have done so in ways far less cheesy that shown here. The video phone, the option to watch one of *three* movies, etc.

This film displays one of my pet peeves with much of sci-fi these days: set a very few years in the future, displaying *massive* cultural, social and technological change. Movies like “Demolition Man” and “Strange Days” were explicitly set just a few years down the line, but showed technologies that were decades away.

 Posted by at 9:48 pm
Nov 252012

Solar power plants burden the counties that host them

In short: they don’t hire the locals to build them, they don’t hire the locals to run or maintain them, they get exemptions to paying the local property taxes, many of them are built on federally-owned lands and that removes the land from recreational use (thus reducing the number of people who might vacation and spend money there) and they require that local emergency services be expanded at local expense.

 Posted by at 9:18 pm
Nov 252012

Usually I don’t think much of blogging about non-news stories like some random schmoe posting some too-cute-by-half idea, unless and until something explodes, bursts into flames or undergoes spontaneous proton reversal. But this bad idea is the sort of simple thing that a lot of people could grab onto thinking it’s awesome, only later coming to really, really regret it. Why do I bother to bring it up? Because I’m a caring guy, that’s why. Same reason why I have said “no” to the idea of doing wedding photography… I may have a camera, a few skills and a little talent, but the risk of flubbing the task is high, and ruined wedding photos seem like the sort of minor First World problem that could cause anger that would last decades. So, without further ado, here’s this thing:

Instead of a guestbook, have each guest highlight their favorite Bible verse and sign their name beside it. They will use this as their family Bible for years to come. Such a great idea! This is a GREAT idea!

How is this a bad idea? Two ways spring immediately to mind:

1) How many people actually have favorite Bible verses? Honestly?

2) is *all* over this: there are some Bible verses that might be kinda interestin’ from a wedding standpoint.

Proverbs 23:27 – For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit.

Ezekiel 23:20 – For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.

Deuteronomy 25:5 – If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her.

Genesis 19:32 – Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.

Proverbs 21:19 – It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

And there was this wise comment:

What if you’re a guest at this wedding and are not a believer? Should you just highlight something from the copyright page?

Granted, if you have been invited to someone’s wedding, they are probably not expecting you to be a dick. But this is just an open door invite to any smartasses who may show up… especially if booze is involved. And from what I’m led to understand not all wedding parties are filled with people entirely thrilled with the choices being made… parents who think the forthcoming son/daughter-in-law ain’t good enough for their precious snowflake, former boy/girlfriends, secret admirers, etc.

Still, I think Problem #1 is the biggie.

 Posted by at 8:59 pm