I hope that those of you in the States and Territories of the United States have a Happy Thanksgiving holiday and that everyone else has a pleasant day. Remember, that today is not just about the turkey, it's also about perspective. Whatever curve-balls life throws at us there is still much to be thankful for.
We live in an age of wonders. Most of us can reach into our pockets and pull out a device the size of a cigarette pack that will allow us to watch films that haven't haven't been screened in over a century, answer important questions, and communicate with people on other continents via a network that allows us access to nearly the sum of human knowledge.. We have medical capabilities that would have seemed to be sorcery a century ago. Most of us have access to luxuries such as refrigeration and a variety of food that a Chinese or Roman emperor would have envied. We have have largely cast off the odious shackles of racism, at least to the point that we can benefit from the glorious virtues of hybrid vigor and we stand on the cusp of becoming an interplanetary species. Despite the best efforts of censorious jerks, most of us still have the ability to communicate and speak our minds. There are, to be sure threats to all of these wonders and those who would intentionally or not bring them all down. To be sure we are not in "The best of all possible worlds" and there are very real challanges that face us, but we have so very much it is important to take a moment and give thanks for the wonders that we have.
Even though it might sometimes be hard to remember that.
...as it surely was for those who had the misfortune to be present at the Pinedale Shopping Mall 40 years ago.
Note that during the time represented by nearly 15 minutes of this 15:56 minute video (which slows down a bit at the end), slavery was an ubiquitous institution except in isolated locations for fleeting seconds. The fruits of the enlightenment are an aberration in history that have survived as of now for a far shorter time than the vast majority of nations. This is far from mankind's natural state and we desperately need to grasp how precious and fragile this anomalous blossoming of knowledge and human rights is.
I have outsmarted you! As you have no doubt deduced, I did NOT mention the BMC Mini out of dubiously rationalized spite! Now the tale of the BMC Mini will be unknown to the millions of impressionable viewers of this blog! All your travels, all your blood and sweat and all your efforts shall be in vain! The world will continue in blissful ignorance of the BMC Mini.
If a lightnig strikes it must be true sometimes, it reaches the tank, fuel tank, because its a big metal object, maybe conncted to the fram, and then the lightning goes to another big metal object, the motor, but then the fuelpipe is to small for the current and it breakes and causes a fire.
That was the reason for the Hindenburg disaster and for the rather recent acciden with a modern ship. The fuel line had a lenghtwise crac. Solution is obvious.
Posted by: sangopadra at Sat Jun 2 07:48:07 2012 (ajpb6)
The Zeppelin NT airships have had a superb saftey record thus far and are quite fuel efficient.
They are also fricking Zeppelins...which makes them trancendentally cool.
This type of Zeppelin is interesting because it generally operates slightly heavier than air. It gains the few hundred pounds of lift it needs from its fins or its vectorable propellors, though by dropping ballast it can float like a balloon if necessary. The design allows for far better foul weather performance and, as a bonus, a ground crew of as few as 3 which is a huge improvement over previous designs. Because of their rigid construction and compartmentation, Zeppelins are more robust than Blimps (which have no internal bracing).
If approved by the San Fransisco city council, this will be the first rigid airship to be based in the US since the decomissioning of USS Los Angeles (ZR3), and the first to be comercially operated.
Besides the retrocool cool factor, Airships, because of their fuel efficiency have a lot of undevelloped potential for ultra low pollution comercial air travel, although they are slower than planes (about 120 kts max). They can also cary fairly heavy loads to remote areas and so have some potential as freightliners.
On the military side, airships have great potential for Search and Rescue, Airborne Early Warning, Antisubmarine and mine clearance both at sea and, interestingly, over land using a big ground penetrating radar and other sophisticated sensors. The mines could be destroyed with cannon or if detected near a civillian dwelling a BD team could be landed. I read recently that one company (Airship Industries of the UK I think) did some considerable work in this arera but there were no takers. This last option gives the potential to clear large areas of landmines quite efficiently.
Pic via Modern Airships which has scads of links concerning...well...modern airships.
In fairness this is the name they give their product.
It is true that the terms were clarified in the 50s or thereabouts to refer to jets as air-breathers, and rockets as those that carry their own oxidants, the terms were once interchangeable and the propulsion (as opposed to fuel details) are pretty much identical (turbofans notwithstanding). However the capabilities of the systems are vastly different. Rand is absolutely right that a real jet pack would be much cooler than this as it would have orders of magnitude more range.
One important point he makes, that many predictors overlook, is the track record of past predictions...which, as the absence of a jet pack in my closet and a flying car in my driveway attest...is spotty at best.
The privacy implications are troubling as is the prospect of disastrous single-point failures if things like driverless cars really are mandated, but read the whole thing.