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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.
A blog dedicated to the personal musings of Kevin L. Connors - a pragmatic libertarian, engineer, businessman, and journalist.

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