Two Bones One Dog
I have two major projects I'm working on for The Pond at the moment. One is the writeup for Ep09 of Ben-To!, and I'm not ashamed to say that it's rough sledding. The way the episode is structured makes it difficult to write a coherent (shaddap!) narrative. The second is a secret, but it has to do with the "proof of concept" I put up a few days ago. That one also involves a package of 60 sets of chopsticks, double-sided tape, and more than a bit of vituperative language.
The sad thing is that the effort required to do either of them seems to be beyond me at the moment. I wanted very much to do one or the other today, and neither occurred... along with, it must be said, anything else. Still, there's always tomorrow. Right?
A New Visitor To Mars
You've probably heard by now that India's ISRO space agency put a probe into orbit around Mars the other day. Dubbed "MOM", for Mars Orbiter Mission, this is a noteworthy success in a number of ways. First and foremost is that it succeeded at all.
Mars has always been something of a bugaboo for human space missions. Though NASA hasn't had a failure since 1999, roughly 2/3rds of all missions bound for the Red Planet have had mission failure in one way or another. Some of these failures were spectacular (the Mars Climate Orbiter's metric-imperial mixup), some less so (Zond 2's loss of communication three months before reaching the planet), but there were an awful lot of them. That a space organization got it right on its first try at Mars is impressive enough, but there's another reason to be surprised.
The entire Mars Orbiter Mission reportedly had a price tag of around $74 million dollars. Construction, launch, salaries, catering, you name it, covered by that number. Force India, the Formula 1 team owned by Indian businessman Vijay Mallya, has a race budget of right around $100 million... and that doesn't count catering.
Now, to be fair, all MOM did was deliver a 15kg satellite into an elliptical orbit around Mars, some 60 million miles away. Force India, on the other hand, delivers a 70kg payload to sixth place after 190 miles or so.
I suspect that if the rules of F1 where "build something like car using whatever means you like that can go around these tracks faster than anything else" Force India might be surprisingly competitive.
Posted by: Ben at September 25, 2014 02:04 PM (DRaH+)
There was something like that once, I think it was called The Wacky Races.... :-)
Posted by: Mauser at September 25, 2014 02:29 PM (TJ7ih)
Isn't there an NHRA category like that (except that the track is straight, not
curved)? I've seen pictures of some amazing vehicles, like cars
and trucks with jet
engines. (Of course, on a real race track, you couldn't follow one of these guys
too closely or you'd get cooked.)
Looks like India saved money by using some standard Kerbal Space Program parts, like the Probodobodyne QBE command module.
Posted by: flatdarkmars at September 25, 2014 06:07 PM (ToEpQ)
Steven, jet cars (or jet trucks, which are 100% guaranteed to bring out the 6-year-old in me!) are, essentially, show cars only. There used to be a NHRA ProJet category, for exhibition only, no race category. However, that was years ago; I can't find hide nor hair of the designation anymore.
But DAMN they look cool!
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 25, 2014 06:55 PM (BCjxQ)
At Reno they had a Waco Taperwing with a Jet Engine bolted underneath flying stunts, hearing the power transition from the snarling radial on the way down, to the whoosh of the jet on the way up was unreal, and the machine could do some amazing stuff. (Like climb at 4000 feet per minute straight up.)
Posted by: Mauser at September 26, 2014 07:34 AM (TJ7ih)
Ben: we did have a mostly unlimited series, it was the Can-Am from '66-'87. Great noisy beasts w/great drivers and IMO the best racing I've ever seen. Wiki has a good overview if any would like more info. I still treasure the autographs I got from Mark & Bruce at Road America, it was the last US race I saw till I got out of the AF in 84.
Posted by: vonKrag at September 26, 2014 12:45 PM (ArsMf)
I really should do a post on Can-Am. It was the first racing series I have memories of, some time in the early '70s. Somewhere back at the Old Home Pond, there's a box of Ektachrome slides from a trip to Road America my father took me on when I was about six or so.
I haven't seen them in years, but I remember one of them had a fantastic profile view of a Chaparral 2J in race trim. I can only assume it was on a demonstration lap, since it was long past being deemed illegal.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 26, 2014 08:29 PM (BCjxQ)
On Monday, something is going to occur to me that hasn't happened in over 10 years.
I'm going to have phone interviews for a job. Two jobs, actually.
I don't know if I'm going to get either of the jobs. I have no idea how the interviews are going to go. There's even a tiny little part of me that's afraid that I'll get one of the jobs, thus ending my "vacation."
I'm almost scared I'll screw up the interviews. Yep, this is my brain.
Posted by: topmaker at September 15, 2014 04:59 PM (2yZsg)
Good Luck! Hopefully, you'll be comfortably settled into a great new job by the time your old bosses realize what a mistake they made when they fired you; that way, when your old bosses come begging for you to come back, you can tell them to kiss your tail feathers.
Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at September 15, 2014 06:30 PM (2eP1J)
9...when your old bosses come begging for you to come back...
THAT'll never happen.
One of the interviews got postponed until Wednesday; the other went well, with a more formal interview set for early October, the next time this recruiter will be in Duckford. So... um... yay?
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 15, 2014 09:55 PM (UXAKw)
Oh, right: I upgraded my video card recently. I should see how Skyrim looks on this bad boy...
Posted by: GreyDuck at September 13, 2014 11:04 AM (CUkqs)
I've started the game several times, but much like oblivion, I keep running into the case of too much to do and get overwhelmed. Someday I hope to finish it. I do like Skyrim's character advancement over Oblivion's.
So earlier today, in my copious amount of free time, I decided to check the weather forecast. I had heard something about thunderstorms when I had gone out to pick up my "Keep Wonderduck Alive" pills, and I wanted to find out just when this was supposed to happen. Imagine my surprise when this greeted me:
Dammit! I just did laundry, too. Now I'm going to have to dig sweatpants out of storage and do another load separately. This has got to be a glitch, right? It isn't really going to go down to -2Â°F tomorrow, right?
Dammit. Well. That's going to be... um... quite the temperature swing. I think I'm going to be not outside at that time. Actually, best to be safe: I'm not going to go outside ever again. It'll be better that way.
...pressure here is about to jump from 28.8 to 29.7 instantly, then vanish for a bit (along with the temperature, which I guess means it'll be a hard vacuum outside for a few minutes). Hopefully I can post this before Minneapolis implodes...
Posted by: Mikeski at September 09, 2014 11:02 PM (luDkn)
"copious amount of free time"
I wasn't aware you could say that unironically.
Posted by: RickC at September 10, 2014 04:49 PM (0a7VZ)
A Note On Spam
As opposed to SPAM, everybody's canned precooked meat product made in Austin, Minnesota, home of the Gear Daddies and just down 2-18 from Owatonna, at which point you jog left on 14 to Mankato where yours truly attended grad school.
"Get on with it."
Sorry. Anyway, The Pond was recently inundated with comment spam. Pages upon pages of comments, mostly in broken French and selling handbags and gymshoes, and almost none of it actually making it to the visible realm. It just sat in my "edit comments" screen until I deleted it... all 17 pages worth.
"That's a lot!"
The reason I'm mentioning this is that it's possible I may have done away with a legitimate comment or two as I went through the detritus with a flamer in one hand and a bandsaw in the other. If so, please don't take it personally, it was totally accidental. It's not that I hate you, it's not that you comment wasn't worthy, it was just an accident.
Highly fictionalized image of Wonderduck removing spam.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
UPDATE: Another eight pages of spam deleted. Yeesh.
Because why the heck not show a Japanese schoolgirl apparating an 88mm flak cannon?
Pete, that particular character apparates a Flak 36 a few moments later. I think it's less a reference to that novel than it is her being a WWII otaku.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 09, 2014 08:14 PM (eNsTS)
Well, sure. Wouldn't YOU summon 88s out of thin air if you could?
Posted by: Avatar at September 09, 2014 08:32 PM (zJsIy)
If I were to time travel, it wouldn't be to kill Hitler. It would be to kill Sanford Wallace and Canter & Seigel.
Turn on the members only option, it's the only way to be safe.
just have to wonder how many abandoned accounts are getting inundated.
Actually, that should be getting better after Pixy implemented
Posted by: Mauser at September 10, 2014 01:15 AM (TJ7ih)
8Turn on the members only option, it's the only way to be safe.
That will happen only when Pixy makes it mandatory, and not before then.
Posted by: Wonderduck at September 10, 2014 01:42 AM (eNsTS)
I'm with Mr. Wonderduck on that, primarily because members-only does nothing -- if they can bypass spam checks to comment, they can bypass spam checks to register. In the same time it cuts away useful comments by non-members. Now of course it could be useful temporarily to defeat a particularly nasty troll that we cannot ban without Pixy's help, but until that time it hurts more than helps. And yes I know that Steven had to disagree.
Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at September 13, 2014 11:26 AM (RqRa5)
I've only been spammed like four times, and never very extensively.