Tuesday, June 18, 2013
The second Lego product to be produced this way is the Hayabusa Probe. This Japanese probe was the first spacecraft to fly to an asteroid, land and return a sample of said asteroid to the Earth using an ion thruster for propulsion.
The Lego version looks like a true collectors item and includes a figure representative of the probe's project manager. This would look great on your desk and is a great way to learn about some of our world's more overlooked space endeavors.
Buy Lego Hayabusa Probe...
Hayabusa Probe Wiki...
Which brings us to the second part of this post and what got me aware of the aforementioned to begin with. The Lego CUUSOO program has announced that the next model to be produced will be the Curiosity Rover. Already wandering around Mars, the Lego Rover will look similar to the one pictured here (this was the proposed model, Lego will create the final version).
It appears that geeks all over the world should rejoice and prepare to pilot their own rover around the Red Planet in the very near future! A collection of these realworld space program related Legos would be cool to see--a great teaching tool for kids and adults as well.
Lego CUUSOO Curiosity Rover page...
This is not a production model...but then again, in Dubai, anything goes. Looks like someone chopped the top off the previous generation Nissan Patrol and turned it into a "Safari" style vehicle. The work looks good but I wouldn't want that open top with all the delicate electronics and interior accouterments the way they are. That will last about 15 minutes on a real safari. It does look like it has come straight from the shop that did the work however as there is still plastic wrapping on the headrests. Ahhh...the benefits of FU money...
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It is listed as having a 2000cc Subaru engine so it appears they have kept it true to the original though I don't know if that bull bar or extra large tires are "stock" accessories.
This Brumby, #811, ran in and finished the very recent, two day, 2013 Finke Desert Race. For those not in the know, the Finke is the Baja 1000 of Australia and sees the best of the best in offroad racing gear up for it.
Piloting #811 is Stuart Zlotkowski of Settlement Creek Racing (Facebook page with lots of more pics of the Brumby here: https://www.facebook.com/SettlementCreekRacing). The astonishing thing is this vehicle not only finished the race but finished in 43rd position out of 99 entries with vehicles like $200K+ Geiser Trophy Trucks and $100K+ Jimco buggies DNFing and not making it to the end.
Finke Desert Race...
Monday, June 10, 2013
That's what this video is of. Well, actually its video of the Falcon F9-R (R for "reusable") and its first long duration test (some 2 minutes or so). While on the ground (at sea level) it produces a million pounds of thrust in the vacuum of space this increases to 1.5MM. While this is well short of NASA's Saturn rockets (+/-7.7MM pounds) and Russia's N1 (+/- 10MM pounds though never successfully launched) it is an impressive feat for a commercial company and will be used in tandem at a later date for SpaceX's missions. The reusable distinction will also greatly bring down the costs of SpaceX programs and allow for an even further undercut of current space delivery costs.
Friday, June 7, 2013
On the face of it the idea of an egg and cheese on a glazed donut sandwich sounds like it might be a good idea. Heck, my "go to" order at D&D is a bacon egg and cheese on a plain bagel, a glazed donut and a medium black French Vanilla. So why not just cut some costs and time and slap the donut in place of the bagel?!?!?
Cause the flavors don't add up to a better experience when mashed together. Mashed together might be OK in my stomach but not on my tongue.
First of all the sandwich doesn't look like that nice one in the picture above. Its far more like the one in the picture below. The process of cutting the glazed donut in half crumbles up the glaze and smooshes the whole donut. The bacon is not exactly plentiful and the egg is all the whites of the egg, minimal to no yolk in mine.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Truly a staggering achievement, Davis' book was seemingly marketed toward the Into Thin Air crowd--not that there is anything wrong with that--but this book covers so much more than just Mallory and Irvine's ill fated attempt at Everest in 1924.
It covers not only the 1924 expedition but the series of exploratory expeditions and attempts in the years leading up to the 1924 edition as well as the participants upbringings and particularly their experiences in WWI. Its hard to describe just how comprehensive Davis' work is. Davis goes through all the members of all the expeditions amounting to several dozen individuals and doesn't skimp on the information provided on any of them. Details are pulled from personal diaries, military documentation, interviews with descendants, films, photography and a seemingly endless list of other sources. Everything is detailed in the copious appendixes though the work is not simply a regurgitation of other peoples facts and figures.
Davis tells this story with a flair. He sets the groundwork and background of the period in which these individuals grew up in and where they came from. He details the affect being brought up in privileged, private, all boys schools had on them, how their war experiences changed their world views, how they interacted with the Tibetans they encountered on the expeditions. Everything is here.
And its anything but boring. Davis includes absolutely horrific experiences of the trenches and covers a great deal of WWI history (you could do worse in learning about WWI than reading this non-military history book) and wonderful scenes of exploration across Tibet. Which is also an integral part of this work--the history of England and the Raj and their interactions with Tibet. Again, the coverage of England's relationships with Russia and China and others are covered here as well as English politics of the time. Really there is so much that is covered here its insane and the fact that it is so entertaining makes it the best piece of non-fiction I have perhaps ever read. If you have any interest in WWI, England, Tibet, Everest, Mallory, etc. then you owe it to yourself to read this book.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Here's a matchup that no one has been asking for!! But then again...any opportunity to watch a 240Z is a good opportunity. I won't surprise you with the ending but hearing that the 240Z went from 0-60 in some 9.4 seconds makes me feel a whole lot better about schlepping around in my 4cyl Camry every day! Now if the Camry was about 1500 pounds lighter and ditched the grandma styling I might be getting somewhere!!