I’ve always been a fan of clumsy yet effective workarounds to address technological limitations. One of the clumsiest was JATO, Jet-Assisted Take-Off. That name confused me when I first learned it. It’s not really a jet at all, it’s just little rocket motors stuck onto an aircraft to help it take off. But there wasn’t really much of […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: Thrust Issues"
It turns out building the foundation of a good theme for a scene in a film is simple. All the work has already been done for you by earlier composers. You may have heard about the magical four chords that dominate much of pop music, but film composition is in many cases much simpler. Movie themes […]Read more "The Secrets of Film Score Composers"
When Lise Meitner and Otto Hahn began their research project that led to the discovery of nuclear fission they weren’t trying to discover nuclear fission. The were instead trying to perform a sort of alchemy, the transmutation of one element into another. Radioactive decay was already understood by then as a type of spontaneous natural […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Antacid of Alchemy"
Metaphors based on military technology sometimes enter popular usage and we forget their origins. Folks used to say “recharging my batteries” back in the late 20th century without knowing that the term came from WWII submarine crews. Diesel-electric submarines of that era had to surface and run their engines on full to recharge their batteries […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: Refueling"
If you’ve read a lot of 70s-80s sci-fi and fantasy you can tell this is Boris Vallejo without even looking at the signature. A bit of Google reverse image searching let me find out this the art for the novel Godsfire, by Cynthia Felice. According to this article the cover art is an accurate representation of the story. Humans have feline overlords. I have no idea whether the person who used this image to make it into a “What Liberals Want” meme variant meant it as parody or not.Read more "Our New Feline God"
Earlier this week I watched a video from Sandia Laboratories that gives some historical context for the current tensions between the United States and North Korea. While the leadership of neither nation inspires much confidence, it is likely that this current phase of what has been an ongoing crisis will lead to a stable and […]Read more "Nuclear Friday: The Learning Curve"