Mar 312016

First up: the recently ended “Mythbusters” is apparently coming back on The Science Channel. Yay. But then there’s this:

the Discovery-owned cable network has greenlighted a reality competition series titled Search for the Next MythBusters, … will focus on finding an “all-new generation of myth-busting science superstars with mind-blowing build skills and nerves of steel.” It will involve both social media and stunts 

Ahhhhh…. ummmm….

A reality show, coupled with “social media.” Yeah. Sure. That will surely lead to some quality scienticians.

Well, at least they’re renweing “How the Universe Works” and “Through the Wormhole.”

 Posted by at 11:36 am
Mar 302016

A quarter century ago when I was in college, it was the fashion of the day to put posters on your dorm room wall. For a lot of the straight guys, that meant posters of improbably hot babes… cheerleaders and models and such. Other guys put up posters of football and basketball players; by process of elimination, these would not seem to have been other straight guys.

This is one of the posters I put up:

theoretical performance of rocket propellant combinations 1988 side A

I picked up this “Theoretical Performance of Rocket Propellant Combinations” poster by Rocketdyne at the Dayton Air Show sometime around 1989, and now it’s in pretty rough shape. It was stuck to a dorm wall with blu-tack and tape, and torn and taped back up; it survived college to wind up stuck to the walls at various places of aerospace employment  and followed me all over the continent. I’ve finally gotten around to scanning the thing, and will expend some effort in fixing it up.

Never mind semi-naked hotties, *this* was the thing to have on your wall. This and the cutaway diagram of the starship Enterprise and the posters of nuclear mushroom clouds were *way* better. Yes, I was the coolest.

Some time ago I scored two other variants of the Propellant Performance poster off of ebay. The one below dates from 1964 and is printed on what has got to be the worst paper ever created… no flexibility whatsoever. I have books centuries old that have paper far less brittle that this thing. Fortunately I got it scanned and am well on the way to restoring the image.

theoretical performance of rocket propellant combinations 1964 side A

And the third one? Frakked if I know where it is. I assume one of my cats has hidden it for some nefarious purpose.

 Posted by at 12:13 am
Mar 292016

So, earlier today some doofus hijacked an EgyptAir flight and made the pilot take him to Cuba Cyprus, using a fake suicide bomb to do his thing. At the end all the passengers bailed off the plane safely… but one stopped to take a selfie. Most of the time selfies are just embarrassingly bad bits of halfassed photographic self-promotion… but this’d be a selfie I’d be proud to hang on my wall if it was me:



 Posted by at 4:00 pm
Mar 292016

Some photos (from ebay) of a NASA PR glossy from December, 1961, showing the then-current Saturn C-5 configuration. Note the fairly obvious signs of some retouching of the engines on the first stage… either the engines were originally larger, or they were larger in number. Note the lack of the small but distinctive stabilizing fins on the first stage.

saturn c5 3 stages 2 saturn c5 3 stages

 Posted by at 7:46 am
Mar 292016


Remember That Time Emma Watson Was the Face of a Skin-Lightening Product?

Where we are told in no uncertain terms that products that lighten your skin are supporting white supremacy, are a form of colonialism, etc.

Oddly no mention of skin *darkening* products or treatments. You know, like tanning beds. Or spray-on tans. Or tanning creams. Or promoting natural tanning via damaging your skin with UV exposure from excessive sunlight, ramping up your cancer risk.

 Posted by at 7:15 am
Mar 282016

Is there a scanner doctor in the house? So, my nice large-format scanner has developed a quirk. As you can see, there are now lines running through the scans (most prominently through the “N” but also further off to the right). Any idea what’s causing this and what’ll fix it? Watching a scan in progress, the light bar seems to be good and uniform; but perhaps there’s something (dust?) on the scan head? I couldn’t see anything, but the light was of course pretty blinding. Opening the scanner to get at the innards seems non-trivial, but this sort of issue kinda ruins the utility of the device.

For APR Patreon patrons, in one of the forthcoming documents you will see the exactly moment when this started… one page it’s not there, the next, and all subsequent, there it is. I didn’t notice it until I’d already processed everything.


 Posted by at 1:37 am