Sunday Things - photogenic edition

posted in Photography by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 14 2013

Haven't had much in the way of intertubes. Have some photos instead - a couple shown below...

Peering at an invisible world, again. Spider! A holiday isn't being complete without being ejected from the premises.

Bonus Space Plumbing corner:

Sunday Things - packet loss edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday April 7 2013

Stuck behind a really slow internet connection. Please accept some text-only links:

  • Namie, Fukishima Prefecture, Japan - the world has a new Pripyat with the evacuated lands around the Fukushima nuclear power station. Perhaps politically motivated, a Google Street View car has been let loose on the roads of one particular town. Effectively abandoned, the dereliction ranges from the occasional earthquake-damaged building in the town to a scoured, apocalyptic coastline. Grim viewing.
  • Baking a Hello World Cake - there's an esoteric programming language named Chef, which visually mimics cooking recipes. Unfortunately, the usual 'Hello World Soufflé' contains such unlikely ingredients as six gallons of oil and a hundred eggs - so one hero decided to design a functioning chocolate cake recipe as an alternative...
  • Escape crew capsule - for when an ejector seat isn't enough. The accompanying photo of a capsule from a B-58 Hustler is a thing straight from science fiction.
  • New York City Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual - need to design yourself a '70s subway station, complete with fully authentic typography? Here you are. via locworks

Bonus Rampant Spoilers section:

  • So, the splendid Bioshock Infinite has had plenty of interesting things written about it. Some only-read-if-you've-played-it articles here, here, here and here.

Aww, crap

posted in Media by Cargo Cult on Wednesday April 3 2013

Iain Banks - both with and without the 'M.' - diagnosed with terminal cancer.

If you haven't already noticed, his writing's a bit of a major personal influence.

Sunday Things - post-infinite edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 31 2013

Today's somewhat abbreviated Things has been slightly delayed due to finishing Bioshock Infinite. Oops. Mini-review: excellent. Also, people claiming the ending doesn't make sense? Amateurs. Any fan of Fringe would follow it just fine...

The Soviet equivalent of Florida.

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Soyuz TMA-22 launch - further to last week's article's Feynman love-in in the comments, here's a counterpoint to the Space Shuttle's tendency to explode when launched in cold weather. A Soyuz launching during an actual blizzard? Hell yeah. Around 22 seconds in - gorgeous.
In space, everyone can hear you fart.
Rare Images From Inside a Soyuz During Flight - shots from inside Soyuz TMA-20. So what's it like inside one of those things? Kind of cramped. I suddenly understand exactly why they developed a six-hour flight to the International Space Station to replace the usual two-day one...
Another relic of the Cold War.
Tupolev Tu-160 - while we're at it, have a lovely photo of this monster from the latter days of the Soviet Union. A book I had as a child had a few artists' impressions and a fuzzy satellite image of this thing. And plenty of information on the American B-1.

Bonus Would Give Cyriak Nightmares corner:

  • Man Spaghetti - contains neither man nor spaghetti. Utterly surreal, disturbing animation. via b3ta

Sunday Things - rocketry edition

posted in Links by Cargo Cult on Sunday March 24 2013

Quick space-oriented edition while I catch up with stuff.

What goes up must come down.
F-1 Engine Recovery - if you launch a skyscraper-sized monster up into the air, it's not going to disappear. Some of it will come back to Earth - or the sea in this case. And decades later, a billionaire will fish rusty bits of rocket engine out of the ocean. Corroded, destroyed '60s space hardware? I'm happy. via Jeff S.
Soviet rust is the best kind of rust.
The Fading Grandeur of Abandoned Soviet Space Facilities - meanwhile, on the other side of the planet - a nice compilation of links, including the previously mentioned Lana Sator's rocket factory infiltration. See also: the fate of the Buran. via locworks
The only nation to develop its own satellite launcher and then abandon it completely.
BLACK ARROW - and then, on another side of the world, in Woomera, Australia - there's the remnants of the British space programme. Our first satellite is quite likely still beeping away up there, should anyone care to listen in...

Bonus Yet-to-upload-to-Flickr-but-there's-my-frequently-updated-photos-to-look-at corner:

  • Space Shuttle Discovery - saw it some weeks ago, outside Washington (DC). It's big, scarred and decidedly more impressive than my 1:72 scale model. This model has a much better paint-job than mine.
  • Space Shuttle Interior - I got inside! Albeit the full-sized trainer in Washington (state, just south of Seattle). Typed while watching this - at twenty minutes in? Piss off, that's not a Shuttle. Way too roomy for a start...