Jul 272015

“Hot Toys” is a manufacturer of high-end (highly detailed, expertly sculpted, terribly expensive) figures and vehicles… superheroes, Star Wars characters, etc. They have recently revealed a Toy o the Millenium Falcon that nobody is quite sure if they are actually going to produce in any numbers and sell… a 1/6 scale version. At that scale, the toy is 18 *FEET* long, 12 feet across. Given that their 1/6 scale figures sell for hundreds of dollars each, I can only imagine that this Falcon toy would run you multiples of tens of thousands of dollars.

I’ll stand by my mailbox in case anyone wants to send me one.

“Star Wars Galaxy Exhibition Powered by Hot Toys” Kick Off

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 Posted by at 10:53 am
Jul 272015

First up:

Destroyer USS The Sullivans Damaged After Missile Explodes After Launch

An SM-2 Block III missile went BLAMMO just after launch, setting a fire on the ship.


Well, that’s embarrassing. But then the Russian Navy (Navy Day in Sevastopol) is not to be outdone:

Looks like the solid rocket boosters for an SS-N-14 “Silex” torpedo-carrying missile broke away just a little early.

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 Posted by at 9:34 am
Jul 272015

 French MP in Crimea “accidentally” bought the T-shirt “Obama, you – schmuck”

French MP Yves Pozzo visited Crimea and bought and wore for news photographs a T-shirt featuring images of Putin and Obama, with some text in Cyrillic, which he couldn’t read: “Обама, ты – чмо.” I have difficulty buying the notion that nobody in Pozzo’s group could read Russian to warn him that that might not be the best politics.

Original Russian-language article.

 Posted by at 8:16 am
Jul 272015

OK, I’m conflicted. Should I as a mature, non-crazy person find this mildly amusing and then go on with life… or should I as a person immersed in the modern culture of victimization and offense-finding find this terribly insulting and offensive and hurtful?

Yet Another English Fail on Japanese TV

In short: a Japanese TV network Fuji TV ran a telethon, which is apparently an annual Big Deal over yonder. As telethons do, they had a bunch of celebrities, and these had the celebrities wearing T-shirts with an important message:


It seems that there was a minor spelling error:

The telethon is actually referring to the Japanese word “honki” (本気), which means “truth,” “earnestness” or “seriousness.”

Whoops. It has been suggested that a better translation for the T-short would be “No Fun, No TV, Be Serious.”

So: time for Racial Outrage-A-Palooza?


 Posted by at 7:56 am
Jul 262015

A follow-up to the earlier photo set of Burans at Baikonur left to rot: a full -scale mockup of the Energia-M launcher. The Energia-M was a planned smaller two-booster version of the four-booster Energia used to launch the Buran orbiter… and, like the Buran orbiters, it has been left in place and is slowly rusting away.

Booster Energy-M and its last home


 Posted by at 9:45 am
Jul 252015

I have added three hi-rez scans to the APR Patreon “Extras” Dropbox folder for the month of 2015-07. If you are interested in these, they are available to all $4 and up patrons at the APR Patreon.

Bell artwork from the late 70’s or ’80’s depicting the D316 tiltrotor, a proposed operational derivative of their XV-15 research tiltrotor.

Bel D316 Tiltrotor art

Convair 58-9 SST, derived from the B-58 bomber (see HERE for a well illustrated article on this and other B-58 SSTs):

Convair 59-9 SST display model

Early artwork for a VTOL fighter concept from Ryan; this would eventually become the X-13:

early ryan X-13 art

 Posted by at 10:09 am
Jul 242015

China assembles world’s largest telescope in Guizhou

A radio telescope similar to the Aricebo dish… but 500 meters in diameter compared the Aricebo’s 300. The reflector is being made of 4,450 panels, each an 11-meter equilateral triangle.

Good for China.

Sad for the US. Remember when we used to try to have the biggest and best of everything? Now we certainly have the biggest government and the biggest national debt, but not really much of the best of anything anymore.

 Posted by at 3:48 pm