…but you’ll never be “Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark delivering a bionic arm to a seven year old boy” cool…
Archive for the ‘technology’ Category
Here’s the comprehensive roundup of all the books I’ve added to my professional library between July 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Some of these I’ve blogged about before, but not all of them. All books are Fine/Fine first edition hardbacks, unless otherwise marked.
Copies of most of the small press books from Subterranean, Hippocampus, etc. listed above will be available through the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.
So Dwight sent me an ultra-crappy webpage (warning: auto-sound), wondering if it was worse than Bella De Soto’s page. It wasn’t. But it did make me wonder what bold new frontiers in bad web design had been unearth. It’s not as horrible as Bella De Soto’s page either, but it really tries…
Behold The Afterlife! (Allow it to run the Quicktime once for the full effect.)
Well, that is to say what the afterlife would look like if designed by a dozen Geocities webdesigners after a marathon session of huffing paint fumes in a church basement, followed by an explosion at the local animated .gif factory…
(Cross-posted from BattleSwarm to here for non-political tank buffs.)
I hope you like tanks.
Here’s the first batch of pictures taken at the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, which I visited on Saturday as a gift to my inner 12-year old. (There are few prospects more pleasing to the preadolescent male mind than being encased in a 30 ton metal killing machine.) The first batch is all German tanks and tank destroyers from World War II. Let’s face it, the Germans had far and away the best tanks, and shortly after the allies managed to catch up, Germany would be about ready to introduce something better. Germany’s problem (as compared to America or the Soviet Union) was an inability to manufacture enough of them. (Good thing for us.) They had an enormous array of German tanks, and probably the best collection outside Germany’s own tank museum in Munster.
The first picture of the first of two King Tigers (AKA Tiger II, AKA Königstiger, Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B) they had on display. The most powerful tank Germany produced during the war, its 88mm main gun could destroy any tank on the battlefield. It didn’t get on the battlefield until 1944, and Germany produced less than 500 of them.
The other Tiger II they had there.
Here you can see the Zimmerite anti-magnetic mine coating the Germans used.
Selfie, with tank.
The first of several tank destroyers.
This is a German tank destroyer that ended up in Finland. Stalin thought he could walk all over Finand, but the Finns tore the Soviets nine different new assholes in the Winter War, though this tank destroyer obviously post-dates 1940.
Alternate barrel used for the Sturmtiger close assault variant.
Here’s an early Panzer Mark I command tank. It’s amazing to realize that the initial German blitzkrieg was carried out with relatively slow, under-armed, and underpowered Mark I and Mark IIs, that, with Heinz Guderian’s new tactics of mechanized warfare, were simply Good Enough.
A Mark II.
I think this is the Mark III, would would be the mainstay of the Wehrmacht armored divisions through the end of the war.
A muzzle-eye view.
An 88mm field canon.
Nigel Price alerted me to his short but interesting piece on Gene Wolfe’s time at Plant Engineerring magazine, where he got to write on a number of interesting engineering subjects, including robotics. (And there are a number of other pieces up at Ultan’s Library (which boasts an A-List cast of Gene Wolfe scholars) worthy of your attention. ) It, in turn, quotes the Nova Express interview I did with Gene at the 1998 Baltimore Worldcon (which I think is worth your attention if you haven’t read it already).
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Colin Furze! He’s sort of like the Mythbusters or Junkyard Wars if they did things that were dangerously stupid.
10-horsepower motorized baby carriage? Check.
Jet-powered bicycle? Check.
Kids! Don’t try this at home! Or, really, anyplace else. Ever. (Unless you work for Survival Research Labs. Then go for it!)
Music by UK punk band March to the Grave, which probably understates the dizzying speed at which Furze will reach that goal.
Here he is riding a home-built, classic Wall of Death in a scooter:
And here he is bailing off the Wall of Death.
Godspeed you, Colin Furze! I look forward to seeing many more videos from you until your inevitable grisly demise!
(Hat tip: Weird Universe, where Paul Di Filippo is among those hanging out.)
There are many things that are pointless, and some that are awesome.
Here’s something that’s both:
Pointless: Because there’s absolutely no practical point in having your food delivered by quadrocopter if your waitress has to stand there and guide the Quadrocopter to your table using an iPad.
Awesome: Because they’re still flying food to your table in a quadrocopter.
I may have to eat there when I’m in London for Worldcon next year…
I never cared about the America’s Cup, which has always been a race for rich guys to compete against each other. But this article on the crash of Oracle’s radical 13-story, rigid-sail driven ship is fascinating from both engineering and failure analysis perspectives.
Post crash footage:
And here’s Mark 2 of the boat, back on the water and hydroplaning:
Like most Oracle products, the ship seems to need a large number of consultants to keep it operating…
Is your retroincabulator up to snuff?