Feb 282013

… is starting to emerge. A few days ago she started jumping up on beds (still kinda weak, but getting there), and yesterday she reached an important milestone: she got on a desk and started knocking stuff off.

Yesterday she also decided to get into the window perch and lay in the sun.

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 Posted by at 8:28 pm
Feb 272013

I just got an email from a Canadian customer of a Saturn V print letting me know that the print arrived, and that they were pleased with it. Why is this newsworthy? Well, partially to convince you to buy prints, but mostly to complain about the postal service between here and there. You see, the print was mailed a *month* ago. Stuff sent to me from Canada has similarly taken a month or more. Stuff sent to and from Hong Kong takes a few days; Europe takes a week. So… what the hell, eh?

 Posted by at 11:16 pm
Feb 272013

No, the project hasn’t been forgotten. Work continues; if you compare the surface detailing to earlier examples, you can see that a *lot* has happened.

2013-02-27 c 2013-02-27 b 2013-02-27 a

Also note a change in “scale reference” lineup. The Space Shuttle is gone as is the Titan III. In their place is a 747 with stretched upper deck and a “Boeing 2717 SST.” These drawings are to show the state of SSV as of 1999… in the “2001” timeline. Consequently, scale references should be appropriate for that timeline. The shuttle probably wouldn’t have been built; if it had, it would have been retired long before 1999. My presumption is that the Boeing 2707 SST would have been built and become operational by the late 70’s, and would have been replaced with the 2717 sometime in the early/mid 90’s. Also shown is an incomplete Soviet Titov V spaceplane, an incomplete USS Discovery and the “Neptune” booster, which I’ve taken to be a 2 Mlb-payload version of the Convair Nexus. Saturn V included; even though it would have been long since retired, it would be historically important. Especially since it launched Space Station I.

 Posted by at 4:42 pm
Feb 272013

Where I live is not under the normal commercial airline routes, so jetliners tend to stand out, especially when they are relatively low. Earlier today I saw what appeared to be a white 747 flying fairly low over the area; I took the rather unimpressive photos below. It’s *not* a 747; instead it’s a 707/RC-135 derivative with great big turbofans and *things* under the wingtips. Any ideas? It seemed to be flying from nowhere to nowhere, heading northeast, probably going north of Logan. *Perhaps* aiming for Logan airport.


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UPDATE: First comment mere moments after posting seemed to nail it: E-6 Mercury, flying command post. Given the role this plane fills, it’s just a little bit creepy to have it flying overhead.

 Posted by at 2:34 pm
Feb 262013

Chinese Communist official trashes airport boarding gate after missing flight 

Ya gotta love it when someone this self-important doesn’t get his way. Unless you have to clean up the mess. Or you’re another passenger who kinda needed the boarding gate to be functional for *your* flight.
Note how the police-lookin’ fellas just stand around. Nobody raises a finger to stop him. Shoulda got tased… but then, he’s a big time  Communist, and woe betide anyone who dares stand up to a Party member.

[youtube 3uZQ1CTASUA]

 Posted by at 10:34 pm
Feb 262013

Colorado, which used to be a bastion of freedom until it was invaded and taken over by Californians, is looking to pass a bill banning standard capacity magazines. Ironically, one of the prime suppliers of such magazines is Magpul, which is located – at least for now – in Colorado. Ever since the left started to gleefully dance on the corpses of children in hopes of dumping on the Second Amendment, standard capacity magazines have been impossible to find, as people have been buying them up. Magpul has ramped up production, but even so they have not been able to keep up with demand. The result of that may be that Coloradans might be banned from buying standard magazines before they even got a chance to buy them. So Magpul has come up with a good idea:

Verified Colorado residents will be able to purchase up to ten (10) standard capacity AR/M4 magazines directly from Magpul, and will be given immediate flat-rate $5 shipping, bypassing our current order queue.

If you’re not a Coloradan, your order may be delayed due to filling Colorado orders first. I don’t think too many people will be upset about that… everyone accepts that you take care of the people in most immediate need first.


 Posted by at 9:45 pm
Feb 262013

C/2013 A1 was discovered January 3, so it has not been observed for terribly long. However, current orbital projections for October 19, 2014, has it passing within 0.0007 AU (63,000 miles). But due to uncertainties, it could pass as far away as 0.008 AU… or it could impact. If it does, it’ll hit at an impressive 35 miles per second.

And in this case, I really, *really* hope that it hits. Because it’ll hit *Mars,* not Earth.

If it hits, the impact will be a hell of a thing to watch (and very likely the *last* thing the Mars rovers and flotilla of Mars orbiters will ever observe. If it misses, the spacecraft might still get an impressive show, depending on whether the comet has started to substantially outgas (not at all certain). The size and mass of the comet are still unknown. But if it hits *and* if it’s a large enough comet, we just might maybe possibly see major changes to the climate of Mars. A substantial influx of water vapor, coupled with a vast amount of liberated subsoil water vapor and carbon dioxide, just might serve as enough of a “greenhouse” to raise planetary temperatures. This won’t be enough to terraform Mars… Mars has been whacked often enough that if a single comet strike were going to do so, it would have done so. But it might give Mars a temporary flicker of warmth. Would it last months? Years? Decades? Centuries? Dunno. My guess would be months to maybe years. But if it lasts decades, that’s long enough for humanity to get off its ass and do something with it. A warmer, thicker atmosphere would make landing on Mars easier; the asteroid mining companies could do their thing to lob *more* rocks and iceballs at Mars to keep the warming and wettening process going.

The comet will almost certainly miss. But a man can dream.


UPDATE: Possible size of the comet from HERE:

With the current estimate of the absolute magnitude of the nucleus M2 = 10.3, which might indicate the diameter up to 50 km, the energy of impact might reach the equivalent of staggering 2×10¹º megatonnes! This kind of event can leave a crater 500 km across and 2 km deep.


An impact like this would not be a once-in-a-lifetime event. it would not be a once-in-a-millenium event. It’d be a once in… what? Ten million year event, for something this big to whack one of the terrestrial planets?

 Posted by at 12:15 pm