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David Harvey « la dialectique casse des briques September 22, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Invented Edens & Techno Cities, Retrotech.
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If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, Junk-Space is the residue mankind leaves on the planet. The built more about that later product of modernization is not modern architecture but Junkspace. Junkspace is what remains after modernization has run its course, or, more precisely, what coagulates while modernization is in progress, its fallout. Modernization had a rational program: to share the blessings of science, universally. Junkspace is its apotheosis, or meltdown . . . Although its individual parts are the outcome of brilliant inven- tions, lucidly planned by human intelligence, boosted by infinite computation, their sum spells the end of Enlightenment, its resurrection as farce, a low-grade purgatory . . . Junkspace is the sum total of our current achievement; we have built more than did all previous generations put together, but somehow we do not reg- ister on the same scales. We do not leave pyramids. According to a new gospel of ugliness, there is already more Junkspace under construction in the twenty-first century than has survived from the twentieth . . . It was a mistake to invent modern architecture for the twentieth century. Architecture disappeared in the twentieth century; we have been reading a footnote under a microscope hoping it would turn into a novel; our concern for the masses has blinded us to People’s Architecture. Junkspace seems an aberration, but it is the essence, the main thing. . . the product of an encounter between escalator and air-conditioning, conceived in an incubator of Sheetrock all three missing from the history books. Continuity is the essence of Junkspace; it exploits any invention that enables expansion, deploys the infrastructure of seamlessness: escalator, air-conditioning, sprinkler, fire shutter, hot-air curtain . . . It is always interior, so extensive that you rarely perceive limits; it promotes disorientation by any means mirror, polish, echo . . . Junkspace is  sealed, held together not by structure but by skin, like a bubble.”Rem Koolhaas, “Junkspace” 2002, p. 175-6

via David Harvey « la dialectique casse des briques.

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Horizons Newsletter | AIAA Houston Section September 3, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Drake Revisited, Retrotech.
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July/August 2012 Issue

(PDF: low resolution, 23MB; high resolution, 87MB)

Volume 38, Number 1

Cover story: Ring Wing Waveriders, by Dr. Patrick E. Rodi

Man Will Conquer Space Soon! Reprinting Collier’s from 1952-54

The Collier’s Series Backstory, by Dr. Albert A. Jackson IV

Man Will Conquer Space Soon! Collier’s, March 22, 1952, the First Articles

Chair’s Column, by Daniel A. Nobles

Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, by Colonel Jack “Stitch” Daniel

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport

Dinner meeting with a Robonaut 2 presentation by Dr. J. D. Yamokoski

ESA Awards Two Studies to EADS Astrium, by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP, and Douglas Yazell

Europe’s First Lunar Lander by 2018, by Philippe Mairet, 3AF MP, and Douglas Yazell

The 100 Year Starship Public Symposium in Houston, September 13-16, 2012

Scientific Preparatory Academy for Cosmic Explorers (SPACE) Inaugural Event, by CEO Shen Ge

Suddenly Tomorrow Came… A History of JSC, the Audiobook, by Ted Kenny

Recent Conference Papers by AIAA Houston Section Members

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Chapter 12 (Houston)

Cranium Cruncher, by Dr. Steven E. Everett

The Back Cover: Attendees at the Section’s Leadership Retreat, August 15, 2012

via Horizons Newsletter | AIAA Houston Section.

Pillow Astronaut: March 2010 August 14, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Public History, Retrotech.
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We don’t know why. We don’t care why. But it got an award as Best Ion MicroGraph at the 47th International Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication.(And you thought Trek conventions were nerdy, holy molasses).

Fabricated by 30 kV Ga+ focused-ion- beam CVD using phenanthrene gas, the model is 8.8 micrometers long, seen here magnified with a Seiko scanning-ion microscope at 5,000X.

You might argue these chaps have too much time on their hands. You’d be wrong.

via Pillow Astronaut: March 2010.

Artificial left arm, Europe, 1850-1910 August 12, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Retrotech.
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Made from steel and brass, this unusual prosthetic arm articulates in a number of ways. The elbow joint can be moved by releasing a spring, whereas the top joint of the wrist allows a degree of rotation and an up-and-down motion. The fingers can also curl up and straighten out. The leather upper arm piece is used to fix the prosthesis to the remaining upper arm. The rather sinister appearance of the hand suggests the wearer may have disguised it with a glove. Among the most common causes of amputation throughout the 1800s were injuries received as a result of warfare.

via Artificial left arm, Europe, 1850-1910.

Abandoned Ekranoplan | Retronaut August 12, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Retrotech.
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‘The 240-foot long Lun-class vessels were designed to skim just over the surface of the sea at up to 340-miles per-hour while carrying six, P-270 Moskit guided missiles meant to take out NATO ships.’

– Defense Tech

‘The only Lun completed is now sitting unused at a naval station in the town of Kaspiysk.’

– Wikipedia

via Abandoned Ekranoplan | Retronaut.

Persu Streamliner, 1923 | Retronaut August 12, 2012

Posted by sandyclaus in Retrotech.
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‘Aurel Persu (1890–1977) was a Romanian engineer, and the first to apply aerodynamics principles to automobiles. He came to the conclusion that the perfectly aerodynamic automobile has the shape of a falling water-drop.

‘Persu implemented his idea in 1922–1923 in Berlin, building an automobile that could reach very high speeds for that time, and it could take curves at up to 60 km/h. It was the first car to have the wheels inside its aerodynamic line, which we take for granted today.’

via Persu Streamliner, 1923 | Retronaut.