Showing posts with label rockets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rockets. Show all posts

Friday, December 18, 2009

Panick Attack!

I know you're not supposed to think the end of the world is awesome. But there's nothing I don't like in this video.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

War of the Worlds, 70 years ago

When I was a kid (and continuing into adulthood) I was fascinated by the radio broadcast of "War of the Worlds" by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater. I don't recall the genesis of my interest, or how I learned about the broadcast and its after-effects, but I do remember that I spent my own coin to buy tapes of the broadcast when I was in 7th grade or so.

You probably know the story, but Orson Welles' team adapted "War of the Worlds", HG Wells' sci-fi blueprint classic of Martian invasion into a somewhat realistic sounding radio-broadcast, as if a night of musical programming were being interrupted by news bulletins, and finally military commandeering the radio waves to coordinate strikes.

Supposedly people switching over from the Edgar Bergen/ Charlie McCarthy show believed the program to be real, and some fled for the hills and/ or otherwise panicked. Rumor has it one farmer shot a water tower in the dark, believing he was shooting at one of the fearsome Martian tri-pods.

The broadcast itself is fairly chilling as you do, in fact, get a feeling of what this might have felt like to an audience who wasn't clear on what was going on. It's believably well-acted, and the narrative arc of curiosity to calamity sounds entirely plausible, even as the tri-pods incinerate a reporter. To this point, the technique of false news-casts hadn't been used, and caused a major stir in the days and weeks after the broadcast.

Rtaher than rehash in its entirety, its worth checking out what Wikipedia has to say.

This evening, Ball State radio will recreate the broadcast. I may listen in as its simulcast online.

I think you can hear the original broadcast recording here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Astronaut Traverses Continent on Bike

Cousin Jim (he of the Rocket Racing League) has written to inform me of his pal, Astronaut John B. Herrington, who is about to begin a 4000 mile bike ride to promote kid's interest in math and science.

Herrington is also a member of Jim's RRL squad.

Even as I write that sentence, it makes me feel like such an underachieving loser.

Okay, on with the post.

Starting wednesday, Herrington will be riding from Cape Flattery, Washington to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Again, he's doing this on a bike. In the summer. 4000 miles.

So what are you doing with your summer?

This is why astronauts are astronauts and I am not.

Anyway, The League will be following Herrington on his trek via the interwebs. And you can, too, at his site: Rocketrek. if you have a chance, link over to the site from your own blog and help our Astronaut Herrington in his mission.

His mission for SCIENCE!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Rocket Racing League at Oshkosh AirVenture

As I mentioned, there's some news coming out of Oshkosh that I'm pretty excited about. The Rocket Racing League is going to demo at AirVenture on Tuesday.

The Rocket Racing League is an all-new, very high-tech sport with all sort of individuals involved, from Richard Branson to Burt Rutan to Cousin Jim, who happens to own Bridenstine Rocket Racing, one of the teams in the RRL.

I highly recommend jumping over to the Rocket Racing League website to get a feel for how crazy this sport is going to be, in a very George Lucas sort of way. Pilots will essentially be strapped into a rocket powered craft, and will fly a 3D course in the sky.

Here's a video on YouTube: