Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Why Don’t We Build An Atoms-For-Peace Dirigible

(Mar, 1956)

Here is a bold plan for displaying peacetime uses of the atom to the peoples of the world.

By Frank Tinsley

EARLY last year, President Eisenhower asked the Congress for funds with which to build a fission-powered merchant ship for the global spread of peaceful atomic knowledge.

“Visiting the ports of the world,” the President stated, “the ship will demonstrate to people everywhere the peacetime use of atomic energy, harnessed for the improvement of human living.”

In Washington, the basic idea of a floating exhibit of American fission techniques was received with general approval by members of the Congress. Some of the plan’s technical aspects, however, generated a bit of discussion. To avoid protracted experimental research and thus speed the ship launching date, it was originally decided to fit the vessel with a duplicate of the power plant used in the atomic submarine Nautilus.

Read the rest of this at the wonderful modernmechanix site »

Sunday, March 16, 2008

NZ dolphin rescues beached whales

Moko the dolphin
Moko is well known locally for playing with swimmers in the bay

A dolphin has come to the rescue of two whales which had become stranded on a beach in New Zealand.

Conservation officer Malcolm Smith told the BBC that he and a group of other people had tried in vain for an hour and a half to get the whales to sea.

The pygmy sperm whales had repeatedly beached, and both they and the humans were tired and set to give up, he said.

But then the dolphin appeared, communicated with the whales, and led them to safety.

The bottlenose dolphin, called Moko by local residents, is well known for playing with swimmers off Mahia beach on the east coast of the North Island.

Malcolm Smith
Mr Smith said he gave the dolphin a pat to say thank you
Mr Smith said that just when his team was flagging, the dolphin showed up and made straight for them.

"I don't speak whale and I don't speak dolphin," Mr Smith told the BBC, "but there was obviously something that went on because the two whales changed their attitude from being quite distressed to following the dolphin quite willingly and directly along the beach and straight out to sea."

He added: "The dolphin did what we had failed to do. It was all over in a matter of minutes."

Back at play

Mr Smith said he felt fortunate to have witnessed the extraordinary event, and was delighted for the whales, as in the past he has had to put down animals which have become beached.

He said that the whales have not been seen since, but that the dolphin had returned to its usual practice of playing with swimmers in the bay.

"I shouldn't do this I know, we are meant to remain scientific," Mr Smith said, "but I actually went into the water with the dolphin and gave it a pat afterwards because she really did save the day."


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Dubious Wartime Adventures of Jasper Maskelyne

"What an excellent thing history would be" , said Tolstoy, " if only it were true."

On stage I watched a handsome, slender man about six feet, four inches tall, a veritable model of the perfectly accoutered socialite in full evening dress. With his broad smile, clipped moustache and dashing manner, he reminded me of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Sr., the motion picture stars of yesteryear. He looked a little too refined ,however, to be swashbuckling. His style of working was light and humorous; the reason for his professional success was obvious."-John Booth

A very long but very interesting story of a WW2 magician feats of deception against the Nazi's and some excellent detective work on discovering the truth Vs fiction