Jul 292014

I guess this is kinda neat, in a late-50’s – first-half-of-the-60’s kinda way: NASA is working on “Orion A to Z,” an alphabet book using the 26 letters to describe the Orion spacecraft and related systems. I’m thinkin’ they must’ve had some trouble with “F.”





 Posted by at 11:50 pm
Jul 292014

Why Hoboken is Throwing Away All of its Student Laptops

Why? Put simply… because buying terribly expensive distracting electronics for clumsy, absent-minded, flighty, malicious and devious adolescents is a *stupid* idea. Millions of dollars flushed, not only in direct expenses, but in lost opportunities (you put a laptop in a kids hands, what do you think he’s going to do with it in class? Classwork? Pfah!).

If you, as a school district, want all the kids to have laptops, there’s an effective way to get it done: issue a directive to the parents: “If you want your kid to graduate, make sure that he/she has a functioning laptop or netbook or Ipad or what ever that can run the programs listed on the next page.” That’s it. Thus if the kid breaks the laptop? Not the schools loss. If the kid uses it to download porn, or has outdated security software? Not the schools responsibility. If the kid forgets it, loses it, sells it for crack? Tough titty toenails.

“But what about the poor parents,” you ask? A few simple solutions:

1) Send an official to the petitioning poor families home to talk to them about options. If there is, say, a flat screen TV on the wall… why, right then and there, offer up a direct trade. Beer, smokes, bling: if they got ’em, they don’t need assistance getting a $300 computer for Junior.

2) Hold a bake sale or something.

3) Does the school have an athletic program? Boom. Right there. There’s the money you need to provide loans to “underprivileged” families to help ’em buy a laptop at the nearest pawn shop. If not by cutting back on athletic program funding, then by the simple act of charging $10 admission for everyone who wants to see Junior play basketball or football or whatever. Look askance at anyone who claims they need assistance getting a laptop yet is willing to pony up $10 to watch some of the worst sports in the world.

 Posted by at 6:33 pm
Jul 292014


Global Analysis – June 2014

  • The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for June 2014 was the highest on record for the month, at 0.72°C (1.30°F) above the 20th century average of 15.5°C (59.9°F).
  • The global land surface temperature was 0.95°C (1.71°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F), the seventh highest for June on record.
  • For the ocean, the June global sea surface temperature was 0.64°C (1.15°F) above the 20th century average of 16.4°C (61.5°F), the highest for June on record and the highest departure from average for any month.
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–June period (year-to-date) was 0.67°C (1.21°F) above the 20th century average of 13.5°C (56.3°F), tying with 2002 as the third warmest such period on record.



Looks like the first half of 2014 was pretty cool… if you were in the eastern half of the US. Everywhere else? Bleah.


Now, the question you have to ask yourself is:

Where are the damned nuclear power plants????


 Posted by at 6:05 pm
Jul 292014

This appears to be an early concept for the Hughes HK-1 Hercules (“Spruce Goose”) featuring twin fuselages. It should be pointed out that a twin fuselage cargo aircraft is a reasonable notion; by spreading the load across the wingspan, the stress on the wing, and the moment arm at the point of attachment to the load (i.e. the fuselage) is greatly reduced. The usual complaint about a multi-body aircraft is that the “wide stance” means the landing gear would be equally wide, necessitating ridiculously broad runways. For for a seaplane, that’s not as much of an issue. Aerodynamic drag and construction costs, however, are generally greater for a multi-body design.

Origin of this image seems to be HERE. The claim is that this photo was taken at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon.

hk-1 zwilling


 Posted by at 2:22 am
Jul 282014

Looks like Israel is finally losing its patience with the never-ending halfassed genocides the Gazans keep launching:

Israel Creates ‘No Man’s Land’ in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40%


Now, imagine if Hamas had used all that concrete to build land extensions out into the Med, rather than for tunnels. And if instead of lameass rockets, they’d instead built sewer, power, transport infrastructure. Then  not only would they have all kinds of new stuff and places to be, they’d have that 3 km strip of land.

 Posted by at 5:16 pm
Jul 282014

Found this photo on Wikipedia, thought it might be of interest to some. Why? Because it’s cool. Note that at extreme left you can see a few blurs… presumably a penetrator round and sabot.

The full-rez version is HERE.


 Posted by at 2:15 am
Jul 272014

A 1963 Douglas concept for a space station. This one appears to have everything… to the right, the (Douglas-built) S-IV stage; to the left the (Douglas built) S-IVb stage; docked and coming in to dock, the (Douglas designed) ASTRO spaceplane. All mounted to a core space station that appears to be based on the S-II upper stage.

douglas station63

 Posted by at 10:21 pm