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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Commercial Flying Wing:

Here's something interesting from Google patent search - US Patent 2,650,780 - the passenger version of Jack Northrup's "Flying Wing".

Of course, by the time this patent was granted, it was moot, as instability problems with the YB-49 doomed the flying wing. (But note that the illustrated design is for a prop-drive craft, like the earlier YB-35.)

We are still unlikely to be transported in a flying wing aircraft anytime soon. Modern fly-by-wire controls, as with the B-2 Spirit bomber, have made flying wings practical. And latter-day designs have been proposed. But studies have shown that the general public wouldn't be comfortable flying in something so radical.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
NASCAR Legends Drifting:

I'm currently watching a gig on Speed TV's Redline, about NASCAR drivers learning to drift. And they are all naturals. And why shouldn't they be? I mean, all the NASCAR stars that came up through the ranks started on the dirt tracks.

And doesn't that stand to reason? I mean, it's the same dynamic, save for that, on the dirt, you are trying as hard as you can to make it hook, whereas in drifting, you are trying to keep it from hooking.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Favorable Internet Radio Legislation Offing:

Serious progress is being made in the effort to save Internet Radio. And all while big media still seems to ignore the issue.
This just in
WASHINGTON, May 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Legislation introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Sam Brownback (R-KA) today would save Internet radio from a recent royalty hike that threatens to bankrupt the industry. The Internet Radio Equality Act would vacate a Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) decision to increase fees webcasters pay to play music online by a devastating 300 to 1200 percent. Companion legislation (H.R. 2060) introduced in the House of Representatives on April 26th, by Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) and Don Manzullo (R-IL), has already garnered the support of more than 60 cosponsors.

In other news, the CRB has postponed imposing the new fee structure until July 15.

Please write your Senators/Representives in support of this, and visit Save Net Radio.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Getting So Much Better:

I'm currently watching Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on Encore Love Stories. And, even though I'm currently listening to it on the little 3" speaker of my Toshiba TV, I heard (and watched) this film at the cinema when it was new (1978, as I recall). And, with all due respect to Peter Frampton, the Bee Gees, and the whole vast array of talent which went into creating this film, what a freaking disappointment.

E-Freaking-Gad!!! We are talking about the album that launched the prog rock era (yes, yes, I know - without Pet Sounds, there would have been no Sgt. Pepper's, but still). This movie didn't do the album justice.

And I know, the critics derided the film at the time, as disjointed and nonsensical. But couldn't you say the same about Yellow Submarine, or Help?

More importantly, in my mind, this film was such an aural disappointment. The mix was so flat, it wasn't to be forgotten until Boston's second album [Don't Look Back (1978)], which as I recall, sold mega. But audiophiles like myself, and Tom Scholz himself, derided it.

Oh, but honorable mention to almost unknown Sandy Farina, whose work as Strawberry Fields was pretty f-ing magnificent.
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Who's That Girl? March 22 07:

The buzz is that the hot spokesperson for the new Right Guard RGX "are you ready to step up" campaign is actress Rachel Specter. I've emailed Dial Corp. for a confirmation.

Dial, a unit of German giant Henkel, just bought the Right Guard brand from P & G last year, and is looking to "reinvigorate" it:
Reinvigorating the Right Guard Brand

This is a bold opening launch for Henkel to create a new consumer brand in the competitive bodyspray market, and in doing so, it is going against the grain of how bodysprays smell and have been marketed. Henkel is making a serious effort to extend the Right Guard franchise into new territory to help invigorate it.

"Right Guard is a great brand that has earned the loyalty of millions of U.S. men, including today's younger generation," says Koven. "We are saying that RGX is 'powered by Right Guard.'"

An Ignored Market: Maturing "Regular Guys"

With Henkel's encouragement to pursue innovation, Dial product managers conducted extensive market research to identify target consumers who were not currently using bodysprays, but who were open to the concept. "Current competitor bodysprays rely on marketing that is saturated with runaway sexual imagery," said Koven. "We believe their scents are overpowering for most women, and their consumers tend to be young teens on the prowl. We found that this positioning was a turnoff for many 'regular guys' who are a little older and more independent. Regular guys believe maturity and confidence can be better aphrodisiacs than an overwhelming fragrance. We are offering these guys crisper, cleaner fragrances that don't overpower. With RGX, they will get an 'air of confidence'™, not an air of arrogance."

The motivating tagline for RGX -- Are you ready to step up? -- also aims to capture young guys who are maturing. RGX television advertising features a confident young woman who educates on the qualities of a man vs. a boy, and how to have an air of confidence vs. an air of arrogance."

I think they are on to something here. The sagging sales of the "Lad Mags" (accompanied by Maxim's drive to reposition itself) shows that the hedonistic, oversexed young male image is so last year. And that can't be bad.

Friday, March 16, 2007
Since I left The Daily Brief, I have judiciously deferred to my friends there on military matters. But I break with that here. And the subject upon which I chose to part with my good friends there is gays in the military. And where I hinge my argument is on a statement by a newsie we all deplore, on a show we all deplore: Dan Rather, on this week's installment of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, summarized his response from service members, to the question of gays in the military: "have you been to a gym lately?"

And here is yet another example of where our rank-and-file is way out ahead of both our military leadership, and the general electorate. And, on this question, who's opinion really matters? If our boys and girls in uniform don't care that one of their compatriots gets off on scamming on them in the shower, as long as there is no physical assault, who are we to care?

Hey, Gen. Pace: get with the program.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Holy Gerrymander, Batman!!!!

Well, I said I've been "out of the loop" for some time now. But, much to my surprise, I find I'm no longer in Dana Rohrabacher's 46th California congressional district:

But where am I? My heart kind of sank when I thought I might be in Loretta Sanchez's 47th District. (Actually, as Jackasses go, she's not that bad.) But it seems I'm in the 40th, and my representative is Ed Royce. I'll have to study his record, but it seems to me he's a don't-make-waves loyal Dumbo.
A blog dedicated to the personal musings of Kevin L. Connors - a pragmatic libertarian, engineer, businessman, and journalist.

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