May 312016

So, the kid climbs into the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnatti Zoo, gets dragged around by one of the gorillas, who gets whacked by the zoo personnel in order to save the kid. There is a whole lot of stupid to go around here… the zoo that made an enclosure easily breached, the parents who couldn’t or wouldn’t keep track of their kids. Lots of stupid, but little actual humor. In the end, the basic story is jsut sad… the gorilla pretty much *had* to die once it started dragging the kid around, but the kid didn’t *have* to be in the position to be dragged around. Stupid. Not funny.

But right on schedule, leave it to politically minded idiots to inject humor into the situation. Gentlemen, behold:

Killing a gorilla to save a ‘white boy’ was a ‘racist’ move, according to outcry

The Twitterstorm of racist dumbassery includes:

And there are a great many more in this vein. That in and of itself is funny, in a kind of predictably sad, pathetic way. But you know what brings the story to the point of high comedy? Here’s the kid and his parents:

Now, I admit that I’m not as “awakened” or “enlightened” to racial issues as many people, but there seems to be something here that makes me scratch my head in confusion about this white kid.

 Posted by at 8:56 pm
May 312016

Bernie Hits Bump on Univision: Speechless on Socialism’s Failures

Leave it to someone other than the major US media outlets to ask about the relevant policy issues:

LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure that you know about this topic: various leftist governments, especially the populists, are in serious trouble in Latin America. The socialist model in Venezuela has the country near collapse. Argentina, also Brazil, how do you explain that failure?

BERNIE SANDERS: You are asking me questions…

LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: I am sure you’re interested in that.

BERNIE SANDERS: I am very interested, but right now I’m running for President of the United States.

LEÓN KRAUZE, UNIVISION: So you don’t have an opinion about the crisis in Venezuela?

BERNIE SANDERS: Of course I have an opinion, but as I said, I’m focused on my campaign.



 Posted by at 12:01 am
May 302016

Here’s an odd thing. If you listen to popular music for songs about space, you’ll hear very few. If you do hear one, it’ll almost certainly have lyrics describing space and space travel in unfortunate terms. If you see spaceflight in the movies, it’s almost always showing terrible things happening… war, aliens invaders, “space madness,” ships and stations falling apart, space diseases, so on. It seems that popular culture would have you believe that space is just… bad.

And yet: if someone needs to reference uplifting ideas, to show in graphic terms childlike wonder… one sure-fire way to succeed is to reference spaceflight. Gentlemen, behold: an American Family Insurance commercial that jumps straight into “the dream of space is awesome” pool.

 Posted by at 9:26 pm
May 302016

I’ve recently figured out how to get reliably good-quality vector graphic PDF files from my AutoCAD diagrams.These differ from standard “raster” graphics like GIFs and JPGs in that they are composed of scalable lines rather than pixels; this means that they can be printed off at many scales and they’ll retain clarity.

I think a lot of the diagrams would look quite good printed in large format; I’ve previously mentioned that I’m working on a few diagrams specifically for printing off on large format (24X36) mylar, but I’ve others that I think would also look good scaled for 18X24. I’m making these first seven diagrams available, formatted and scaled for 18X24. They can be viewed on screen, printed on a standard printer or printed by a large format printer all with equal clarity.

If this idea appeals, be sure to tell your friends, family, foes, anyone you think might be interested. Also be sure to comment if there are any diagrams I’ve previously created for APR, USXP or elsewhere that you’d like to see in this format. Some of them would be best as multi-sheet diagrams. Suggestions on how to improve also appreciated.


CAD 007: Northrop Low Altitude Penetrator

A 1/72 diagram of a 1979 design for a B-2 alternate configuration

Download for $3



CAD 006

A 1/96 scale diagram of the 1979 Rockwell D645-4a spanloader bomber.

Download for $3



CAD 005

A 1/144 scale diagram of the Manned Spacecraft Center MSC Orbiter 020, a 1972 Space Shuttle concept with a single 260″ solid rocket booster.

Download for $3



CAD 004

A 1/350 scale diagram of the 1971 Boeing Resource Air Carrier (AKA RC-1, AKA “Brute Lifter”) designed as a flying oil tanker for the arctic.

Download for $3



CAD 003

A 1/72 scale diagram of the Martin-Marietta “Zenith Star” experimental space-based laser for the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Download for $3



CAD 002

A 1/24 diagram of the Lockheed “Harvey,” the initial concept for a low radar cross section strike platform that eventually became the F-117.

Download for $3



CAD 001

A 1/32 diagram of the North American Rockwell D-541-4 “Surprise Fighter” from 1973, an early stealth concept designed to sneak up on Soviet AWACS planes.

Download for $3


Download all seven for $18.90 (10% off)


 Posted by at 12:37 pm
May 302016

So. You have yourself a mirror, and you have yourself a ridiculous bright source of light. Maybe it’s a laser and an aiming mirror, maybe it’s the sun and a solar sail deployed at a dangerously close perihelion. Since no mirror is 100% reflective, some of the light is absorbed and the mirror temperature climbs. Assume the mirror is made out of something that can take very high temperatures (say, iridium)… so high that the mirror becomes incandescently hot without melting. So, the question is… if your shiny iridium mirror is glowing white hot… is it still a  reflector? I know that with gases, the most transparent vapor become a near-perfect absorber of incoming radiation if it’s incandescent. But how about a solid reflector?

 Posted by at 9:54 am
May 292016

Or maybe it did, in some “ironic hipster” sort of way? Hmmm…

Iraqi migrant who bought a T-shirt saying ‘I’m Muslim, don’t panic’ is hospitalised by three Islamic asylum seekers who thought he was insulting their religion 

Happened in Berlin. Two of the attackers were caught… a Syrian and a Lebanese. Make of it what you will. I’m sure some will read this news item and conclude that the message is “Hmm. Trump sucks.” Which is true, but irrelevant.

Also unrelated, this bit of news from Saudi Arabia:

Man shoots doctor who helped deliver his baby ‘because he was a man’

Mmm-hmmm ayup. Seems reasonable.

 Posted by at 8:52 am
May 292016

After a false start, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) has been inflated. Hopefully the start of new constructions in orbit… space stations as big or bigger than ISS (in terms of available volume) in just a few Falcon 9 launches.

BEHOLD NASA’s thrill-packed video of the event, carefully edited to remove any actual movement:

 Posted by at 8:28 am
May 282016

I’m hurrying to get together the CAD diagram for the May APR Patreon Rewards package. The rest of the reward items are ready to go, but there’s still a little work to accomplish on the diagram. But rest assured it’ll be ready before the end of the month and will be sent out to current APR Patreon patrons. So if you’d be interested in the Lockheed A-1 diagram – which in the largest form is formatted for 18X24 – signed up soon! It’s only a few dollars…

So, check it out


arch-002 A-1-Model

 Posted by at 8:02 am