Overland sidehack

Continuing our very infrequent series of overlanding sidecar posts, I give you the Ruko X-Plorer:

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Unlike the Ural referenced previously, I’ll bet I could rig this for dogs, hawks and a ger.

[machine translation follows]

In our workshop we have laid a new X-Plorer to the weld plate. Client is a world of travel Lithuanians, who plans a trip from Norway to Siberia and from Mongolia to Kazakhstan. Everything on gravel roads, of course! And of course with a RUKO X-Plorer

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Via Ride the Machine.

Nick Cave (no, not that one)

Amazing Soundsuits by Chicago-based sculptor/fiber artist/genius Nick Cave. Found by following an inbound link (to Tibetan Pop Surrealism) back and then googling like mad.

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Youtube of suits under construction/dancing etc.:

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Molly Would blogs Mr. Cave’s visit to SCAD.

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A slide show from the Fowler Museum, UCLA (hopefully, the link works well – the Fowler/phototour is a bit tricksy – if it doesn’t work, click on the Fowler link, then on Nick Cave Photo Tour).

Vertical Blue 2010

The Shark Girl sent me a heads-up a couple days ago – she and D are in the Bahamas (Dean’s Blue Hole, Long Island to be exact) videoing the Vertical Blue 2010 freediving event. The footage is amazing – you can find all of it here and write-ups of the days events here. Below, William Trubridge does a world record unassisted (no fins, no nothin’) dive to 92 meters. My back of the envelope calc puts that at approximately 30 stories – yowza.

Internet serendipity

This [Boing Boing]:

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Rick Prelinger sez, “My spouse Megan Prelinger is about to take to the road with her show of paleofuturistic ads from the early, go-go years of the space race. While the images are fascinating in print, they’re even more provocative when projected, revealing the gap (and sometimes uncanny resemblance) between the fanciful and actual futures of space exploration. I can’t wait to see them on the big screen at DC’s National Air & Space Museum, LA’s Griffith Observatory and a host of other venues in Portland, Seattle and NYC. Her tour kicks off at San Francisco’s Booksmith this coming Tuesday, May 4 with a slide show, reading and release party for her new book Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race 1957-1962.

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Leads to this [Amazon]:

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Leads to this [Amazon again]:

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Which causes me to google “apollo guidance computer simulator”:

I figured I’d get a good hit, but this is beyond good- the Virtual AGC Home Page.

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Big fun! And as a side benny, this [Amazon again again]:

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The old man worked on Convair B-58 Hustlers (radar system for Raytheon) – he tells the story of coming home for lunch one day and returning to work to find that the aircraft he’d been working on had caught fire and killed some of his coworkers. Time and place suggest the B-58 involved was unit 58-1012.

Pininfarina X

Via the Most Viewed Classifieds window on the Hemming’s blog, a concept car that I’d never run across before – the Pininfarina X. One front wheel steering, two side wheels, and one wheel in back supplying power. That power comes from an 1,100 cc Fiat engine, churning out 43 monster horses. * Here’s the punch line – the asking price is $1,350,000 – you read that right – over a million bucks.

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Another web site asserts “the X also possessed twitchy and unpredictable handling”* – a claim I have no trouble believing. A single steering wheel up front equals big entertainment, as the Robin Reliant racing rollover clip below demonstrates. I have no idea whether popping the power wheel off the pavement during hard cornering would help or not, and given the coolness of the body work, I have no interest in finding out.

Dem dry bones

Lotte and I went in search of cottontails yesterday, after work. We didn’t find any but she got more experience working heavy cover and a bunch of exercise (didn’t stop her from carrying on with the shorthairs when we got home, though).

I did find a huge patch of trout lilies.

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And a couple leg bones. I’m assuming they’re from a whitetail – I need to do a little more nosing around to figure out which bones. Regardless, they’re a matched set; one shows evidence of healed trauma. Infection? Bullet wound? Break (I don’t think so, but what do I know)?

Mirror images.

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The uninjured bone.

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Ouch.

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I’m thinking about making a flute from the uninjured bone. I’ll stick with a pennywhistle when I attempt to form up the Innsmouth Drum and Whistle Corps for the Halloween parade, but the bone flute would be fun to fool with.

Ekranoplan 903

I’ve mentioned ekranoplans on the blog before; in honor of igor113′s truly incredible photoset, here’s a collection of Lun (‘dove’ or ‘hen harrier’ – not clear – but certainly not ‘logical unit number‘) linkage.

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Wing-In-Ground (WIG) effect craft take advantage the fact that the aerodynamic efficiency of a wing, and particularly its lifting capacity, improves dramatically when is operated within approximately one-half of its span above ground or water, in what is termed ground effect. If the wing’s natural accelerated flow passing over it is further accelerated by the high-velocity exhaust of a turbojet engine, the lifting capacity of the wing is even more greatly enhanced. In 1966 the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau under Rostislav Alekseev produced a gargantuan “ekranoplan” (“surface plane”) combining the smooth hull form of a ship with stub wings, a large vertical fin and horizontal tail.

Alekseev developed a smaller military WIG, the Lun (“Dove”), armed with six large antishipping cruise missiles perched unaerodynamically on its back. In 1989 the missile launcher ekranoplane “Lun” (about 400 tons) was enlisted in the Navy. The ship was armed by three pairs of cruise missile 3M80 or 80M “Mosquito” (NATO’s designation SS-N-22 Sunburn), though they were never deployed to fighting units.*
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Functionally the body of this strange ship was divided into 4 parts: fore, middle, after-part and keel together with stabilizer. Fore part possesses pilot house and a pillar holding 8 main engines, as well as a room with secondary ones. Middle and after parts were fully equipped with test facilities but still have also a caboose and a toilet. The whole keel is filled with power installation for electricity supply during mooring and a complex of radio navigation and communication equipment. A room for a gunner is placed in a cross-line of keel and stabilizer at a height of 12 meters over the waterline.*
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And if you’d like to get out the cardstock and an X-acto knife:

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Update – igor113 has 2 more photosets linked through from the one above – here and here. The awesomeness just keeps going:

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Update the second – come to find out – this got Boinged about a month ago, so it’s likely that just about everyone on the planet except me knows about it already. In my (lame) defense, I find that the new BB format lets interesting things slip by me in a way that the old setup did not. So it goes.

The Impossible Project, SX-70 and FMM

A while ago, a friend offered up his old SX-70 for sale. At that point, Polaroid was out of the film business and though there was a lot of interest in keeping the film in production, it wasn’t a sure thing. I figured what the heck, gambled and bought the camera. The gamble paid off – The Impossible Project (the folks who bought the production equipment) just released their first film packs. Not cheap, but not as expensive as some things I’d like to shoot someday.

Manipulated 1

Portrait of FMM, manipulated by her own little self then digitally processed by me.

Old color film that came with the camera.

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FMM

New film. I like it – and I need to remember that the focusing circle is not centered in an SX-70.

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FMM and T-rex.

Taken by her mom (not Polaroid).

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Hey, it’s my blog and I’ll post cute small person pictures if I want to!

8-bit

Like LOLCats were, internet centuries ago, 8-bit is everywhere and it’s fun.


PIXELS by PATRICK JEAN.
Uploaded by onemoreprod. – Watch original web videos.

After 1:48, all I can think of is ice-nine.

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Much the same as 1st video, but with music!

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rstevens has been having pixelfun since before everything (this strip is esp. for Sy, the ladies and the cassowary).