Between a work trip to NASA Kennedy Space Center a little over a week ago and a visit today to the California Science Center, I have had the privilege of seeing 3 of our Space Shuttles in the last two weeks (see photos of Endeavour above and Atlantis below).
Years ago I was also able to see Enterprise at the National Air and Space Museum outside Dulles for a life total of 4. I understand it has since been replaced by Discovery, which happens to be the only shuttle I haven’t seen yet so I guess I have a stop to make next time I’m in DC.
These really are amazing to see in person, particularly when you compare the scale to the other Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules typically on display near by. The shuttle is immense in person.
The textures are also something that stand out, both the black heat tiles and the white quilted surface. You can’t help but marvel at the engineering that went into the design and operation, and the bravery of those who flew them.
They are a tribute to what our nation has achieved and an inspiration for what it can again.
Frontpiece from The Art of Angling, Richard Brookes, 7th Edition, 1790.
Zeppelins over Los Angeles again? Yep, according to this story. In 2014, Goodyear will replace its fleet of blimps with larger rigid-structure airships from the German Zeppelin company. Not quite as big as the USS Los Angeles above, but cool none the less.
What does a boy do when he’s grounded from television as a kid? Why, discover old time radio! I’m delighted to see The Great Gildersleeve available as a free podcast (iTunes). Fans can also find the Jack Benny Show and Fibber McGee & Molly nearby.
The story of a young Winston Churchill in 1897 fighting fanatical tribal warriors in modern day Pakistan–see his chilling description of what we hear all too often in today’s news:
Every influence, every motive, that provokes the spirit of murder among men, impels these mountaineers to deeds of treachery and violence. The strong aboriginal propensity to kill, inherent in all human beings, has in these valleys been preserved in unexampled strength and vigour. That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword–the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men–stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism. Wikipedia
I haven’t read this book yet, but came across of a reference to it in my current team read at the office (The Mission, The Men and Me, more about that in a future post) and was delighted to find the free Kindle edition of the eBook on Project Gutenberg. I believe this is the hardcover edition depicted by the cover image above.