Big Mechanical Things

“IMPERIAL CENTER, CORUSCANT — The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again by the recent announcement by the President of the United States that his nation would not attempt to build a Death Star, despite the bellicose demands of the people of his tiny, aggressive planet.” [Star Wars Blog]

Our guest columnist is a globetrotting businessman who dabbles in politics.

I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were. When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.

Mitt Romney pulls in $6 million at Beverly Hills fundraiser [LAT]

Because why not?

NASA rocket scientists are preparing for tomorrow when Curiosity, a roving robot/laboratory is scheduled to land on Mars and begin gathering all sorts of interesting things for scientific research. But first the thing has to actually land on Mars, and the engineers have named the planned landing “seven minutes of terror.”

They’ve even come up with a groovy video illustrating how the landing (hopefully) will occur.

[SF Chronicle: Curiosity to Make Tricky Mars Landing]
[Jet Propulsion Laboratory]

We were sitting on this for an opportune moment when we could deploy it as a Clever Metaphor for Something. Now seems as good a moment as any.

[via Wired]

As described: “The Ice Break Add A Motor To It couch breaks the world record for fastest sofa at Camden Airport, Sydney on 26th September 2011. Check it out as the couch reaches a top speed of 163km/h.”

Since America abandoned the metric system decades ago, that’s 101mph. But you really wanted to see it crash in flames, didn’t you?

[via @pourmecoffee]

Wacky private pilot James Inhofe is mad as hell that he can’t execute sitcom landings without getting his wrist slapped:

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a veteran pilot who agreed to take remedial training after he landed on a closed runway in Texas, announced Tuesday that he has prepared a bill to add more fairness to Federal Aviation Administration enforcement actions.

“It’s our job in Congress to ensure that there are appropriate safeguards in place to prevent agency overreach,” the Oklahoma Republican said in a preview of what is expected to be called the Pilot’s Bill of Rights. “This bill provides that.”

If you’ve forgotten what landing on a closed runway entails, let’s revisit the FAA report:

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