* Posts by Dave Walker

78 posts • joined 10 Sep 2007


Beeb to show unseen interview with Dr Who theme creator

Dave Walker

Parallel history: the theme from 'Forbidden Planet' interview

For the pre-synth electronic music fans the article:

The Barrons: Forgotten Pioneers of Electronic Music on National Public Radio; Susan Stone, 5 February, 2005

Will be of interest as it details the creation of the first all electronic music sound-track.

Available at www.NPR.org then search for 'Forbidden Planet' or use the following direct link


A .5 Litre? Because it goes well with electric music...

US census takers fight angry Americans for their data

Dave Walker


Right point, but minor error: The Constitution was ratified in 1786, about a decade after the Declaration of Independence was circulated.

DX in Philadelphia, where it was signed.

Highest point on the Moon found: Higher than Mount Everest

Dave Walker

Calculated Sea Level on other worlds

I have a hunch,

That they are using the planetary standard of considering "Sea Level" to be a mean altitude based on the aggregate high and low points. This is especially evident in discussions of heights and depths on Mars.

P.S. I still like the Mariana to Everest comparison best

PARIS skins up with Rizlas and dope

Dave Walker

84gsm Paper in the Bog? OUCH

Which is your standard: Glossy or Matte?

Neil Armstrong renews attack on Obama space vision

Dave Walker

Dump Ares for Human Rated Atlas or Deltas

It's not as though the United States does not have several heavy lift rockets that are in production, have proven records, and could be adapted to human launch.

Besides, what we really need is a infrastructure system to get to the Moon, and Mars. Think "Transcontinental Railway" instead of "Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Vatican awards self 'unique copyright' on Pope

Dave Walker

Crocodylus Pontifex...

"...The Spaaaace PooooPe!"

I wonder what he would say

Pig plague alert: Avoid missionary position

Dave Walker

@ Gene Cash: Getting a Grip

Actually, I think the point is to avoid getting The Grip(pe). Health and Safety Officers have a way of spreading their "Influence"

OK, I'm running now!

Pluto still a planet, says Ronald McDonald

Dave Walker


They are forgetting quite a few:

Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta, Astraea, Hebe, Iris, Flora, Hygiea ,Parthenope, Victoria, Egeria, Irene, Eunomia, Bellona, Leukothea, and Fides used to be planets; now they are *just* asteroids.

And on the outside, what about Eris, Makemake, Haumea, Sedna, Orcus, Quaoar, Varuna?

Or is that too much for the little darlings to hold in their head? It might cause them to forget the names of some of their Poke'Mon.

Have a Happy World Astronomy Week(end) and "Keep Looking Up!"


Soviet military-surplus manned spacecraft to fly again

Dave Walker

Hatch in Heat Shield

The Almaz capsule has the hatch in the heat shield. I believe that it is an ablative shield that had to be restored after each flight.

No meat shots, Protons too iffy, but the hatch held!

DX - Philadelphia

Blade Runner tops sci-fi movie poll

Dave Walker
Paris Hilton

Metropolis: the Restored edition

I should have mentioned that the Metropolis version is the Murnau Institutes restored version. Not the awful one that has been floating about for years with the tragicomically inappropriate sound track....

Paris, because she could only hope to be Maria dancing in Yoshiwara

Dave Walker

Metropolis Influence

Metropolis actually had stunning special effects, for the day and still not bad today.

It also influenced at least two of the other top 10: the police headquarters in "Blade Runner" was modeled after the central building in "Metropolis", and the artificial hand of Dr. Rotwang, and the design of the 'Menschmachine/Maria' show up in "Star Wars".

Not too shabby for 1927!

Now if we can pit "Maria" v. "Pris" for a knock down drag out erotic dance....

with a by by "Zora"

Did the Vatican suppress hidden 'Galileo Cryptogram'?

Dave Walker

Pluto Can't Drink...

Because he is a *Minor* planet. A true planet, but must watch enviously at his eight buddies the Terrestrials and Gassy's have a cold one on Friday night.

And Saturn keeps leaving his ring on the bar. Trying to play single maybe?

Marie Curie voted top female boffin

Dave Walker

Notably Missing:

Heldly Lamar "No NO NOOO HEDDY Lamar!" (Mel Brooks "Blazing Saddles)

...but seriously, Heddy Lamar was an incredible electrical engineer.

Caroline Herschel who did much of the mathematics to support William's astronomical observations.

I'm sure there are more but I'll let others chime in

(the icon? For the Saddles of course :-) )

NASA scrubs Endeavour launch

Dave Walker
Thumb Down

@ @@frank ly "Flown more..."


Soyuz has the Shuttle beat in launches and returns. Although I haven't tallied the total number of people carried; 3 per Soyuz, 7 per Shuttle.


Amazon cloud welcomes airplanes of data

Dave Walker

Pigeon Secure Data Transfer *Real*

Back in the 1990's several aerospace companies in southern California used Pigeons to transfer critical files securely across town as microfiche or even tape, strapped to them.

They may still do it today, you can get a lot of data on a micro SD.

Just watch for the resurgence of native raptors inducing "packet loss".



P.S. Thank you Rachael Carson for the return of those beautiful raptors.

DARPA seeks self-aware AI robot mega-tanks

Dave Walker

I for one...

Welcome Our Dinochrome Clad Overlords!

But will they have iPods built in to review their music libraries?

'Bart Simpson' punts Church of Scientology

Dave Walker

Apu is Hindu

@AC 12:28 GMT

Actually, I can't think of when they have had an prominently Islamic character on the show...

<Rev. Lovejoy> "...Be they Christian, Jewish, or Miscelleneous."

Obama reverses Dubya's tailpipe emissions

Dave Walker

Fleet-Average Economy

One Technical Point: The issue at question is not whether the Detroit marks can make a single vehicle that gets 35mpg, but that their whole sold (as opposed to manufactured and sitting unsold on a lot) production gets an average of 35mpg. So for every large (and profitable) but low mileage vehicle they would have to sell several that got much more than 35mpg.

Not that I'm too sympathetic, Detroit always treated the small cars as junk for suckers, unlike Japan and Europe where they have proven that small cars can also be well made and fun.

Lightning to thunder with speed-creep beating V8 roar

Dave Walker
Thumb Up


My vote is either for the 'Leccy bikes from Akira or the Light Cycles from Tron.

(of course a proximity activated automatic horn with the beloved Class 43 klaxon would be priceless)

Fifty years later, steam appears on British railway

Dave Walker

Pedant III - Locomotive v. Train

@John Lodge

Hi John, actually , for operational purposes as opposed to dictionary definitions, a "Train" is a conceptual object on a rail network being defined as having the appropriate Marker Lights and Flags and a slot in the timetable. It can be as little as one locomotive meeting the above conditions to a 100 wagon drag.

Synchronous Clocks,

Packet Routing

Railways were the birth of the Internet!

-Mine's the grubby one covered in Welsh Coal with the cables in the pocket...

NASA kids' compo: Name the inflatable moon habitat

Dave Walker
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Meteors Inflation and Oppression

Meteor Protection: The NASA have tested multi-layer fabric modules and found that they are more protective Kg for Kg than metal because the resiliency dissipates the energy from micro meteorites. Tests for the TransHab have confirmed this.

Big ones are infrequent these days and, as mentioned in a previous post, there is no feasible protection.

Oppression Palace: Futurama "A Taste of Freedom".

Yes, I *know* it's a schlep, just do it!

Apple MacBook

Dave Walker

FireWire+DV Cam+iLife=selling point

So now the home user who has been sold on the iLife/iMovie import and editing is out of luck? Are more cameras now coming with USB 2.0 than I recall?


Virgin Galactic spaceliner-piggyback craft delayed

Dave Walker

@Confused: Vomit Comet not Sub-Orbital

The NASA, and now other agencies, train personnel for several seconds of weightlessness using a jet-liner flying a special trajectory at normal altitudes.

The Spaceship-# craft do the same thing, but do so while actually going high enough to qualify as being in space, much higher than the training aircraft, Concorde, or even the Blackbird aircraft.

The Spaceship-# craft allow minutes, and a much higher view.


US Navy spares Silicon Valley's 'Alexandria Lighthouse'

Dave Walker
Paris Hilton

Rigid Airships

The airship Macon for which hanger was designed, as were the R100 and R00, were of the rigid variety, one might even say "Zeppelins" if that is politically correct.

Blimps are soft bodied dirigibles; the hanger could hold both the Macon and a handful of blimps simultaneously.

Paris because....

Phoenix spies probable Martian water ice

Dave Walker

Tiny Power, Tiny Ovens

@James Gibbons

Unfortunately the ovens have to be tiny, they need to heat up to over 1,000 degrees to do some of the necessary chemistry. Because solar power is scarce at the latitude of the lander that means making them very small. The screens are to make sure that samples are the correct size.

The good news is that the (Canadian) arm is very advanced and can dig, scrape, and shake so that there are many options for getting small shavings of the material.

(The flame but it has to be very tiny)


Korea's first astronaut heads for ISS

Dave Walker

Patent Infringment: The FingLonger

1,200 years Dr. Hubert Farnsworth will file a patent suit for copying his "FingLonger"!

Man sues God

Dave Walker

United States Motto

Despite all of the hoopla over God in government the United States' official motto is "E Pluribus Unum" or "One from Many".

The "In God We Trust" junk was added by religious zealots who felt insecure, and it got worse during the Communist scare of the 1950's.

BTW: the "One Nation <<Under God>> Indivisible" line in the Pledge of Allegience was not written with "Under God", that was added in the 1950's also.

DX in Philadelphia

Women say no to pink tech toys

Dave Walker

Defending the Beige

I can't really believe I'm doing this but my inner historian *insists*: Beige was once considered stylish!

Believe it or not, some savvy early computer manufacturers, Apple included, actually decided to make their boxes beige to better match the office decor of the mid to late 1970's so that they would be accepted next to the typewriters and telephones instead of looking "Sci-Fi" or nerdish.

Even the colour derided as beige is not the beige of yesteryear; it really is a darker tan colour than the lighter 'platinum gray' or 'off-white' most commonly derided today as the "beige box". Plenty of latitude remains for the use of 'putty' and 'taupe'. Considering that the fashion came on the heels of 'Harvest Gold", "Toasted Almond', and "Avocado Green" maybe we should consider ourselves lucky that beige has held up so well.

DX - Philadelphia



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